Rock art may appear to be one of the most durable surfaces on which to apply art, yet drawings of charcoal and ochre are perhaps the most vulnerable in existence. They are vulnerable because the materials used to create the art are perishable,and few other works of art are required to stand the punishment of the elements, windborne dust, animal rubbing, changes to the environment and, indeed, time.
Despite its seeming durability, limestone, the favoured rock surface on which the art was produced, is notoriously unstable and easily eroded. New Zealand’s rock art heritage includes the earliest records created by this country’s first inhabitants, and they are provided with very little protection against damage, either by natural forces or vandalism. The sites that remain today maybe only a very small portion of the number that there once were – a painted landscape alive with the voices of our ancestors!
Aside from the physical threats to rock art, one of the major obstacles in protecting these fragile sites is the lack of awareness of their very existence! Te Ana is designed specifically to raise awareness of this fragile aspect of our national heritage, and to encourage people to respect, conserve and protect it for the generations to come.
Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake neiFor us, and our children after us
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