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In pictures: The opening of Whales | Tohora

By: Alice Gage, Category: At The Museum, Date: 22 Oct 2018

Aboriginal and Maori Elders, community and staff came together to bless the exhibition and celebrate these majestic creatures.

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran and Maori Elder Kura Moeahu

Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran and Maori Elder Kura Moeahu
Photographer: Nick Langley © Australian Museum

The Whales | Tohora exhibition opening on Friday 19 October 2018 saw an extraordinary coming together of cultures.

The moving event began with a smoking ceremony guided by Wiradjuri Elder Uncle Jimmy Smith and Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council CEO Nathan Moran. Maori Elder Kura Moeahu then greeted dignitaries with the traditional hongi – the pressing of noses and foreheads – in which it is believed that the breath of life is exchanged. Guests moved into the exhibition and saw a performance by AM Pacific Collections officer Logan Metcalfe, and later a performance by Aboriginal dance group Koomurri.

Photos by Nick Langley © Australian Museum

Whales Tohora
Aboriginal Elder Uncle Jimmy Smith performs smoking ceremony on Museum Walk
   
Whales Tohora
AM Director & CEO Kim McKay and Maori Elder Kura Moeahu  
   
Whales Tohora
Maori Elder Alishia Mantell blessing the exhibition
 
Whales Tohora
Maori Elders perform incantations in Whales | Tohora

Whales Tohora
Australian Museum First Nations and Pacific Collections staff, dignitaries and Maori Elders 
 
Whales Tohora
Performance in the Atrium by Aboriginal dancer group Koomurri