Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Polish Heritage Trust Museum

The Polish Heritage Trust Museum in Howick, New  Zealand has items related to Poland and the Polish people in New Zealand.

Gretchen and Alana have come to the museum to look at the photographs, documents, ceramics, paintings, books, magazines, toys, traditional garments, Polish objects, embroideries, hand crafts and souvenirs.
Gretchen and Alana are offered tea or coffee and could help themselves to a variety of biscuits on the other table and while they look around the lower gallery. Gretchen looks at the Wycinanki pictures on the wall and tells Alana she wants to go to a class to learn Wycinanki, which is a beautiful Polish paper art.


Gretel and Jeanette, Gretchen's sisters, are also  visiting the museum today, (they had previously arranged with Gretchen to meet her there).  They all sit together to watch the film about some of the Polish refugees talking about their experiences before they arrived in New Zealand and their life in New Zealand now.
On the 30th October 1944, 733 refugee Polish children and 102 adult caregivers arrived in Wellington, New Zealand by ship and then caught the train to Pahiatua where they stayed at a camp known as a “little Poland” where they lived for about five years.


They climb the stairs to the upper gallery to look at the items on display and are just awed at the beautiful traditional clothing which is so colourful and has beautiful embroidery on them.  There are beautiful porcelain dolls dressed in traditional clothing from the different regions on display as well as a variety of wooden dolls that have been made in Poland. Gretel, Gretchen and Jeanette were made in Poland.  
Poland is a land with a rich and diverse folklore and the white eagle on a red background is an emblem from a folk story.There are many regions in the country with their own traditions, dances, songs and costumes.



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