11 Sep 2012

Acadmic investigates Maori treasures in USA

7:13 pm on 11 September 2012

An academic from the top of the South Island is one of five people travelling to the United States to investigate Maori treasures.

Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology's director of Maori education Takuta Doc Ferris is travelling to Houston, Texas to view a collection of taonga puoro or traditional musical instruments that are housed at the Menil Gallery.

The expedition's project manager, Rangitunoa Black, says Mr Ferris was chosen because of his expertise in te reo Maori, Maori taonga, carving and education.

She says Mr Ferris and his family are dedicated to taonga Maori, whether it's in the form of te reo, the culture or artefacts.

Ms Black says he has a deep commitment to revitalising the Maori language and culture, and he is also an experienced carver in his own right, who makes and plays taonga puoro.

Takuta Doc Ferris' tribal affiliations are Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungnunu, Ngati Kuia and Ngati Koata.