A poetic response to a back of house tour for le vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language week)

Welcome to our final blog post for le vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language week) for 2013.

In this blog, we feature a poem composed by Charles Niu, who visited the Pacific Cultures Collection during the back of house tours at Te Papa highlighting Samoa Language Week. We had an overwhelming response to the tours, and were fortunate to hear stories from our visitors such as Jerry Leaupepe who talked about his experiences fishing for sharks in Sāmoa. A big fa’afetai tele lava (thank you) to all those who made the time to visit, and to Charles for allowing us to share his poem on the blog.

Taoga Samoa

Inside us the dead write Albert W

Samoa, Samoana

Inside Te Papa Pasifika taoga

On the wall sits proudly Nifo’oti

Below the peacemaker

Kilikiki blade Pasifika Excalibur

Decorative Oceania Lapita motif

Ia Tonga ancient pure maiden art

Banner flags old school

Education the key so bold Rutherford

Sharks teeth tatau tap motif eternity

Kava bowl O Kawatanga koha dark light.

Matai ponder on cool wooden pillow.

Tapa cavern dark, burn brown, surf white Apia

Feather hibiscus red, brown and white

Mirror coin embellish,

Honoured Pasifika head

Vaka adze creation, rim customise art

Sinnet ornament bound outrigger

Tamaiti adze treasure hunt

Prize sweet lollies, Samoa history

Priceless.

Glossary

Taoga( Niue)…Treasure

O Kawatanga…(Māori) NZ Government

Koha(Māori)..gift

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