Te Ahi Kā: The fires of occupation


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The experience of living with the indigenous people of New Zealand for six months in 1996, triggered photographer Martin Toft (b. 1970, Denmark) to explore the deep physical and metaphysical relationship between the tribes and the Whanganui River (their source of material and spiritual sustenance). Almost 20 years later, Toft returned to the Māori community to rekindle the spiritual kinship he had experienced and to collect the material for his project Te Ahi : The fires of occupation. The book shows a range of colour and black-and-white photographs, all published with the permission of the native people. Each image communicates social, anthropological and cultural themes of the Polynesian settlers of the region. Apart from Toft's photography, the publication includes archival images from national museums, captivating stories, and the Māori dictionary.