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In 1918 James McDonald proposed an expedition to the Hui Aroha to be held in Gisborne the following year. The purpose of this, and the three subsequent Dominion Museum expeditions, was to collect and record information on the crafts, activities and tribal lore retained in the various areas.

The week long Hui Aroha, in April 1919, was organised to welcome home from France the Māori Pioneer Battalion, to honour those who did not return, and to celebrate peace.

The museum party consisted of their ethnologist Elsdon Best, the Librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library, Johannes C Andersen, and McDonald. The surviving film shows poi dances and string games.

000:00 NZFA title. Te Hui Aroha Ki Tūranga: Gisborne Hui Aroha.
000:26 Filmed by James McDonald for the Dominion Museum April 1921.
000:49 Te Poi roa. Long stringed poi. MLS line of women performing long poi in front of large assembled crowd. They wear white blouses and piupiu.
001:45 Ko Āporo e whakaatu ana i ngā mahi ti-ringa ki a Anehana. Āporo demonstrating string games to JC Andersen. MS Āporo standing in front of tree, demonstrating string games for camera. People occasionally walk past in background. He wears white hat with a black band, and a suit and tie. J.C. Andersen comes into picture left to aid final part of string game. (some spotty decomposition evident in this sequence).
004:45 Te Poi poto. Short poi. MLS woman performing short poi, under willow tree beside river. She wears white blouse with black sash, a dark skirt and white headband. Poi have tassels.
005:50 LS line of women performing with short poi. They wear black dresses, with piupiu and headbands. Man in kiwi korowai walks up and down behind them, calling.
006:33 LS group of older women, performing with short poi. They wear sailor collared white shirts and piupiu. In background, a NZ flag is held aloft by a man in a suit and a woman who appears to be draped in a Union Jack. They all file out in a circular single file. Members of crowd wander into frame after they leave, including a small girl in white who performs in the following sequence.
008:12 LS group of small girls in white, performing short poi. They are led by older girl at rear of group. A flag is held behind them by the same man and woman as previous sequence. Flag has Union Jack in corner, two figures (Kaiser Bill being beaten by Maori warrior) with the words 'Te Hokowhitu-a-tu' underneath.
010:35 'Kua Mutu The end'.
010:41 Finish

Follow this link to connect to the pānui that was sent out to iwi inviting them the the hui.

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Request information

Year 1919

Reference number F7882

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Actuality

Duration 0:13:03

Production company Dominion Museum

Location information

Taonga Māori Collection Yes

Credits Camera: James McDonald

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