Jan Bieringa’s documentary follows the building and handing over of Te Hono ki Aotearoa to Leiden’s Museum Volkenkunde. In a first, the traditionally crafted war canoe is on permanent loan to the Dutch museum.
Hewn from a 600-year-old kauri tree grown in the far north, the waka was carved by master carver Takirirangi Smith and constructed under the guidance of master waka builder Hekenukumai (Hec) Busby.
The waka was delivered to its Dutch guardians in October 2010 with a ceremony that combined traditions from both nations. The film allows us insight into the exchanges between parties in each country and the impact the waka has on another cultural environment.