New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute
The artistic heart of Rotorua, the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute serves to encourage and promote the various and many beautiful forms of Māori art, as well as to foster Māori culture, language and practices. That means turning up here you’ll immediately be treated to an array of beautiful carvings that line the front path, and from there things just get more impressive.
Young students come here to learn how to weave, carve and learn many other artistic skills their ancestors would have also done, and there’s a real sense things are done with the utmost respect. Expect to see plenty of hardworking people with their heads down and deep in research, chatting with a tutor or putting the final touches on their pieces.
The Āhua gallery displays all sorts of taonga (treasures) from all around New Zealand, and is a beautiful dimly lit space to reflect on this country's artistic talent. The art has very much a style of its own meaning the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute is super popular with the tourist crowd too.
Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs