Art: Sacred Treasures of the Maoris

A rare exhibit of primitive carvings comes to the U.S.

It was the most unusual opening in the 114-year history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ceremony began at the unaccustomed hour of 6:32 a.m. on the vast expanse of steps fronting New York City's most venerable art institution. There, five Maori women lifted their voices in unison with the rising sun and intoned the karanga, a ritual call of welcome. Instantly, a booming responsive chant was heard to echo from a block up Fifth Avenue, where a group of Maori tribesmen had...

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