Kōwhai. Image courtesy of Phil Bendle

Canterbury Museum – 30 October 2019 – 9 February 2020

When the East Polynesian ancestors of Māori landed in New Zealand, they applied their extensive knowledge of plants to the new species they encountered.

When botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander arrived here 250 years ago with James Cook’s first expedition they brought a different way of thinking about and classifying this same flora.

He Uru Hou: Our Native Plants combines the Māori and European ways of interpreting our native plants, symbolised in the exhibition by Jo Torr’s 2006 artwork Pacific Crossings, an eighteenth-century European style coat and waistcoat made from tapa cloth and embroidered with native plant designs.

Learn how Māori used plants to make medicine, clothing and tools. See actual samples gathered by Banks and Solander. Understand the role of plants in supporting native animals.

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