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Te Atiawa welcomes Saginaw Grant and Rick Mora

Published: 8:47PM Thursday July 09, 2015

  •  (Source: Te Karere)
    Saginaw Grant and Rick Mora welcomed in New Zealand - Source: Te Karere

Native American wisdom is set to feature in the upcoming Armageddon Expo in Wellington next week.

Well-known actors Elder Saginaw Grant and Rick Mora landed in the capital this morning ahead of the expo where they will be holding workshops.

They were welcomed at the airport by members of Te Atiawa iwi.

“You could feel it when we did the pōhiri this morning,” says Kura Moeahu of Te Atiawa, “we had met before, not in this realm, but a realm governed by our ancestors.”

Mr Moeahu says for the iwi, this visit is about sharing cultural knowledge.

“It's about sharing ‘mātauranga Māori’, with ‘mātauranga o Ngā Iwi Taketake o Amerika’.”

Elder Saginaw Grant and Rick Mora have come down for the Armageddon Expo, but Māori wanted to meet these cultural experts.

“Wherever I went, I've been honoured in such a way as this, but not quite as elaborate. I’m respected, which I appreciate.”

Experts in their culture, but also movie stars in their own right, between the two they have appeared in movies and TV series such as The Lone Ranger, Breaking Bad, Twilight and the Deadliest Warrior.

So what do they think about how Māori is being portrayed in film?

“I haven't seen anything negative about the Māori.

“I see it as a beautiful, indigenous culture, and part of the reason why we're here is to experience that beauty that we’ve seen.

“So I think Hollywood has done Māori fair.”

They will be welcomed on to Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt at 9.30am on Friday.

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