Maori Activities Scheduled

Festivities, lectures, panel discussions and weaving demonstrations are planned for the last week of September and the first week of October to celebrate the opening of the "Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread" exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University. The activities will introduce visitors to the history and beauty of traditional and contemporary Maori weaving.

On Friday, Sept. 23, the museum and university, in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and Siletz, will host a Procession of Nations on the Willamette campus. The procession, which will convene at 4 p.m. at Jackson Plaza, will welcome the Maori people of New Zealand to the ancestral homeland of the Willamette Valley tribes and will include representatives of the native nations of Oregon and beyond.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the museum will present lectures and panel discussions in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall upstairs and weaving demonstrations in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery downstairs.

From 11 a.m. to noon, Darcy Nicholas, director of the Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture in New Zealand, will deliver a slide lecture on contemporary Maori art and culture. A painter and sculptor, Nicholas is one of the organizers of the exhibition.

From noon to 2 p.m., Maori and Native American weavers will participate in two separate panel discussions on indigenous weaving materials, techniques and traditions. Rebecca Dobkins, associate professor of anthropology at Willamette University and faculty curator of Native American art at the museum, will moderate.

From noon to 4 p.m. in the Melvin Henderson-Gallery, Maori weavers will demonstrate traditional and contemporary Maori weaving techniques. They will also hold demonstrations Sept. 27-29 and Oct. 3-6 from noon to 4 p.m.

Organized by the Pataka Museum of Arts and Culture in Porirua City, New Zealand, in partnership with Toi Maori Aotearea-Maori Arts New Zealand, the exhibition is supported by a major grant from Te Waka Toi/Creative New Zealand. Local sponsorship has been provided by grants from The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde through their Spirit Mountain Community Fund, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission and the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds. "Toi Maori: The Eternal Thread" features more than 100 woven items from New Zealand collections and is the first time a major exhibition of Maori weaving has been presented in the United States. Willamette University is one of only three venues in the world chosen for this exhibition tour.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State Street (corner of State and Cottage Streets) in downtown Salem near the Willamette University campus. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children under 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. In celebration of Willamette's Homecoming Weekend, admission on Sept. 23-24 will be free. For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit