News from Loans – Where to see Te Papa collection items – taonga

Over the past few months I’ve let you know where to see Te Papa collection items on display in other places. The de Serville anchor at the Far North Museum, the Minke Whale skeleton at Auckland Museum, the Adam’s Island lifeboat and NZL32 at Voyager New Zealand Maritime Museum, Governor Grey’s bed at Mansion House, Kawau Island in October 2012. Items associated with the Boer War, and significant Wellington items at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea, and relics of Baron von Alzdorf’s hotel at Bowen House also reported in October 2012. Model ships on display at Otago Museum and mementoes of sub-Antarctic Island shipwreck survivors at the Southland Museum& Art Gallery in November 2012. And paintings on display in places you would not necessarily expect to find them also in November 2012, such as Government House, the Wellington Club, St Patricks College and the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Today I’m going to let you know where to find taonga Maori from Te Papa’s collections on display in other places.

At the Department of Conservation Haast Visitor Centre you will find a large argillite toki (adze blade) found early last century at Bruce Bay, South Westland. The toki is part of an informative display about the unique cultural, historic, and natural features of South Westland.

Ipu (bowl), Wellington. Maker unknown. Purchased 1963. Te Papa

We recently lent eighteen taonga to the Muaupoko Tribal Authority for display at the newly built Horowhenua Cultural and Community Centre in Levin. Muaupoko see the display of taonga associated with the area as a chance to showcase rare items retrieved from lakes and streams in the district. One of the taonga is an ipu, a small delicately carved bowl associated with Waipata Island, an artificial island at the southern end of Lake Horowhenua, once the site of a pā (stockade).

Wakahuia (treasure box), 1800, New Zealand. Maker unknown. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. Te Papa

In 2010 we lent the New Zealand Ministry of Justice a wakahuia (treasure box), from the prestigious Oldman Collection, to be displayed alongside the Queen’s silver inkstand at the newly opened Supreme Court building. The wakahuia and the inkstand act as symbols of nationhood.

Poutoti (stilts), Bay of Plenty. Maker unknown. Exchanged 1964. Te Papa

Ngā Pūmanawa o Te Arawa: The Beating Hearts of Te Arawa was unveiled to the public on 2 September 2011 at Rotorua Museum’s newly built Don Stafford Memorial Wing.  The exhibition traces the rich history of Te Arawa, one of Aotearoa’s most famous tribal confederations.  The exhibition brings together many of the tribe’s most iconic taonga (treasures) for the very first time, and through them tells the Rotorua region’s most amazing stories.  Nine of those taonga are from Te Papa’s collections including the stilts illustrated above.

Five pou whakarae (stockade posts), that have been at Te Manawa since 1994, were recently reinstalled into the refurbished Te Rangi Whenua gallery.  The exhibition shares the stories of iwi (tribal) groups in the Manawatu, Rangitikei and Horowhenua regions.  Four of the pou are associated with PuketotoraPa, Rangiotu, carved around 1830.

At the Hokitika Museum eleven taonga made from pounamu (New Zealand jade) from Te Papa’s collection are exhibited in the exhibition Te Tai O Poutini (The place of Pounamu).  Prior to the discovery of gold, the West Coast was home to Poutini Ngai Tahu who had a string of settlements along the Coast.  Maori collected and carved pounamu, a treasured stone, which, because of its usefulness and beauty, was traded throughout New Zealand.

Three carvings lent to Puke Ariki in 2003 have been redisplayed in their exhibition Te Takapou Whariki o Taranaki (The Sacred Woven Mat of Taranaki).  Each of the three carvings has its own individual and unique story and is well worth a visit.

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