13 Feb 2009

Tongan women to present traditional cultural works in Auckland gallery

4:31 pm on 13 February 2009

More than 60 Tongan women from an Auckland club will debut cultural works at an Auckland gallery next week.

The exhibition Koloa et al or Your art is my Tresure is the work of the Otahuhu women's collective, or Mo'ui aonga and will include woven mats, bark cloth and quilt making.

A curator, Charmaine 'Ilaiu says they asked the women's club to display the items showing their everyday use..

"They were really unsure what a gallery space was and how their work could be displayed in the gallery. Myself and Nina Tonga we both come to them and said no this is an opportunity for you to show us how you would display your Koloa or your work. It began with them being quite hesitant but they're very excited now."

Charmaine 'Ilaiu says the exhibition will show that Tongan culture is very much alive in New Zealand.