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Published 9 May 2018

New television series on artefacts and taonga of Aotearoa

Dame Anne Salmond FRSNZ is presenting a six-part series on artefacts and taonga of Aotearoa, currently screening on Māori Television.

Production company Greenstone, who has made the series, says it “takes viewers on adventures through time with a focus on artefacts and taonga at the heart of gripping and often surprising historical dramas. Artefact also shines the light on contemporary themes and challenges viewers to think about what sort of Aotearoa we want to leave our children. Artefact connects today’s New Zealanders with our ancestors’ experiences and aspirations, through the powerful stories of the artefacts that have survived them.”

Each of the six one-hour episodes has a distinct theme and has a hero artefact it begins and ends with, interwoven with the stories of other taonga that relate to that theme. Some are in world famous collections, others are in small local museums or are cared for by whānau.

Dame Anne Salmond, Professor of Māori Studies at The University of Auckland and Royal Society Te Apārangi Vice President – Humanities and Social Sciences, acts as the informed guide and story teller in the series, travelling around Aotearoa and abroad to find artefacts and the people who connect with them and who will tell their stories.

She says it was a joy to be part of the project. "It has been such a privilege to work with so many stellar people on this series. They deserve all the kudos; it was a spectacular team, from researchers to camera operators and soundies to directors and editors. And the generosity of the people we spoke with was exceptional."

Professor Richard Bedford, Royal Society Te Apārangi President describes the first episode as "stunning".

"It features the great navigation skills and stories of the Māori and Pacific peoples generally and is a beautifully crafted story of the past in the present."

Artefact is screening Mondays 8.30pm on Māori Television and is available on demand.


Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi