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Watch: Breathtaking kapa haka performance on famous Santa Monica Pier celebrates opening of Maori exhibition

 Maori culture took over California's famous Santa Monica Pier as kapa haka performers celebrated the opening of a Maori exhibition.

The colourful performance was part of events surrounding the Tuku Iho Living Legacy exhibition which opened at Venice Beach's Rose Room on Monday.

Tuku Iho Living Legacy project director Karl Johnstone says the display on the pier captured the attention of crowds and highlights the interest people have in discovering more about international cultures and their artistic practices.

Performers from Tuku Iho Living Legacy in action on Santa Monica Pier. Source: Tuku Iho Living Legacy

"Maori concepts and the ways we are able to share these through our static and performing artistic disciplines continues to draw interest both online, within the exhibition and at our various events around Venice Beach and Santa Monica," Mr Johnstone said.

The exhibition is looking to replicate the success it experienced at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC earlier this year, which drew more than 250,000 visitors and saw more than a million more people engaging with it on social media.

Maori performers from Tuku Iho Living Legacy in action on Santa Monica Pier. Source: Tuku Iho Living Legacy

Developed by the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, the exhibition fuses traditional and contemporary culture with more than 70 works of art handcrafted by students and teachers from the institute, based at Te Puia in Rotorua.

The exhibition also features in-situ carving, live ta moko, kapa haka and contemporary performances and presentations. 

Well-known contemporary New Zealand artists and musicians Rob Ruha, Majic and Teeks will also feature as part of the live performances.

More kapa haka displays at Venice Beach are planned as part of the exhibition, which runs until November 2.