After brief exposure to some Maori songs and Matariki (Maori New Year) celebrations with Mitchell, Bethany became passionately interested in learning more about the Maori culture. Unable to take her down to Rotorua, the next best thing was a trip to the Auckland Museum. She got to experience first hand real poi dances, Maori songs, weapons and haka.
The Maori cultural performance was a simple but well presented showcase of Maori song and dance. Bethany came out after the performance singing (or at least trying to hum along) to some of the songs she had just experienced. She also loved looking at the carvings and asked lots of questions I couldn’t answer about various artifacts on display at the museum.
Of course Auckland museum has more than just the Moari artifacts and performance, so we spent a couple of hours exploring the rest of the museum. She got to experience volcanoes, giant extinct birds and a 100 year old stuffed elephant among other things…. Many of which I remember from my childhood. She reluctantly had to be convinced to leave the museum she was having that much fun.
Some people think museums are boring. Thankfully Bethany isn’t one of those people (yet). It helped that the Auckland Museum, despite having some exhibits virtually unchanged from my school days, offers a wide and interesting variety of objects, animals and interactive experiences for the kids to engage with. Be it World War Two airplanes or a Maori War canoe, I am thankful that my children get to experience these things first hand as I did and appreciate more than just the day to day life they live in.