17 Aug 2010

Meeting house used as site of Chicago gang peace bid

9:02 am on 17 August 2010

A Ngati Porou elder has welcomed the use of a wharenui held by a Chicago museum to seek peace between warring gangs.

The New York Times has reported that the meeting house, Ruatepupuke II, was used for a ceremony based on Maori ritual to resolve conflict between gangs from violence-ridden Fenger High School.

The gangs were required to speak and then exchange songs and hugs as a way to show the young people how to resolve disputes verbally.

Ngati Porou elder Amster Reedy told Waatea News the house, which was built in Tokomaru Bay in 1881 and has been owned by the Field Museum since 1905, carries its own knowledge in a way that others can benefit from.