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Maori Cultural Leader to be 2004/2005 Ashley Fellow

Tama Turanga Huata of New Zealand, to share his knowledge in Maori traditional art forms, cultural practices and history

Thursday, June 3, 2004, Peterborough

Tama Turanga Huata from Aotearoa, New Zealand, has been appointed as Trent University's Ashley Fellow for 2004/05.

Nominated by the Department of Native Studies, Mr. Huata is a cultural leader with knowledge in Maori traditional art forms, cultural practices and history. He is founder, artistic director and chief executive officer of Takitimu Performing Arts School as well as the founder of Kahurangi The Maori Dance Theatre of New Zealand. Since 1985, the company has presented more than 2,000 performances in New Zealand and has performed in Australia, China, Singapore, Mexico, the United States and Canada.

His research has led to the establishment of a Masterate Degree for Maori Arts Administration, which has affected Indigenous initiatives globally and has become the source of investigation and research for tribal communities in Malaysia and India, as well as in Canada and the United States. 

Also to Mr. Huata's credit is the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Maori Performing Arts at Massey University in Hastings, New Zealand. This is the first degree course to be offered in traditional and contemporary Indigenous performing arts in the world.

Mr. Huata holds an MBA from Massey University and was a Fullbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin in 1994. In 2003, he was appointed chairman of the Aotearoa Traditional Maori Performing Arts Society - a national organization.

While at Trent, Mr. Huata will discuss his research and the results of his work, particularly recent developments with Indigenous peoples in Malaysia and India, where the principles and techniques utilized to recover and perpetuate Maori language and culture are explored in new contexts, and serve as the source of new work and inspiration. He will give a number of public lectures and lead a workshop on Indigenous knowledge and the arts for students and faculty members. Mr. Huata will also serve as an advisor to the First Peoples Performance Space, scheduled to open later this year.

The Ashley Fellowship is funded by a bequest from the late Professor C.A. Ashley, longtime friend of Trent University and an enthusiastic proponent of the role that informal contacts of college life can play in the academic pursuits of the University. The Ashley Fellow is therefore a visiting scholar who is a resident guest in one of Trent's five residential Colleges.

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For more information contact:

Prof. Marrie Mumford, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Arts and Literature, Department of Native Studies, 748-1011, ext. 1310


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Last Updated June 3, 2004