FVCC Fulbright Scholar to Present Lecture Series on New Zealand Natives

By Beacon Staff

Flathead Valley Community College Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Karl Rangikawhiti Leonard will present a three-part lecture series on New Zealand’s Maori people this fall.

The Maoris are the Polynesian indigenous people of New Zealand whose culture is still an integral part of the country.

Through a Fulbright Foundation grant awarded to FVCC, the college is hosting Leonard for the fall and spring semesters. Leonard holds a master’s degree in Maori language and management and brings a lifetime of experience in traditional Maori art forms including weaving, carving, and dance.

The lecture series will open Oct. 16 with a presentation on the history and migration of the Maori people. The discussion will include the Maori migration from Rangiatea in the Tahiti region to Aotearoa, New Zealand, ranging from Maori pre-European contact through today.

On Nov. 13, Leonard will discuss the development of Maori weaving from traditional techniques used on the islands of Polynesia to the present time. A master weaver himself, Leonard will discuss how changes in materials and techniques used in weaving were influenced, transitioned, adapted, and adopted.

The series will conclude Dec. 11 with Leonard’s presentation on the art of Maori dance. Attendees will discover how traditional Maori dance was developed through stories and songs. Topics will include Maori poi, weaponry, war dances from traditional times through to European contact, and the transition and adaptation from chants into western tunes.

All lectures are open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. in room 144 inside the Arts and Technology Building on the college’s campus.

For more information, contact the FVCC Multicultural Affairs Office at 756-3945 or at [email protected].

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