Exhibition documents ancient Pacific voyages
Vaka Moana - the untold story of the world's greatest exploration was unveiled in December 2006 at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, before embarking on a four-year international tour.
Considered one of the greatest voyages ever made by mankind, Vaka Moana tells the story of the final chapter of human settlement in the habitable world, documenting the migration of the people of the Pacific.
It is a remarkable journey not only because it spanned a third of the globe, but also because the travellers had to develop new technology and ways of life to survive.
Journey in eight stages
The exhibition itself is a journey in eight stages, moving from west to east, from island to island, and chronologically from past through present to future.
Vaka Moana explores the origins of the people of the Pacific, documents the invention of the outrigger canoe that carried the voyagers, interprets the navigation methods used and discusses the modern day revival of these traditional voyages by Pacific nations.
The exhibition is also significant because it marked the opening of the Auckland Museum's Grand Atrium exhibition hall, and was the final curated exhibition for museum director Dr T.L. Rodney Wilson.
"Vaka Moana encapsulates all we have been driving for - an untold story of international significance that is integral to our collection, to Auckland and our place in the Pacific," Dr Wilson said.
The Auckland Museum is regarded as New Zealand's original treasure house, holding the finest collection of Maori and Pacific artefacts in the world.
The Vaka Moana exhibition features over 150 of these, including full-sized sailing canoes, large scale replicas, navigation tools and instruments, diaries, painting, engravings and charts.
After three months in Auckland, Vaka Moana headed to Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Europe and North America.
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