Posts written by Kirstie Ross

Historic holiday snaps

  • B.021001 View inland from Kapakapanui showing burnt stumps: 'Ascent of Kapakapanui' 1-2 March 1930. Photographer Leslie Adkin. Te Papa
  • B.021003 Woman tramper in teh bush: 'Ascent of Kapakapanui' 1-2 March 1930. Photographer Leslie Adkin. Te Papa
  • B.021005 Woman tramper: 'Ascent of Kapakapanui' 1-2 March 1930. Photographer Leslie Adkin. Te Papa
  • B.020846 Early views Tararuas, 2 March 1930. Photographer Leslie Adkin. Te Papa

Some of my favourite social history images in Te Papa’s photography collection are of trampers taken by Leslie Adkin (1888-1964).  A man of many talents and interests, Adkin was a founding member of the Levin-Waiohepu Tramping Club, which was established in the 1920s.  This was one of the first tramping clubs to be formed in New… Read more »

Advent adventures

Christmas cake decoration, about 1950. Gift of Annette Baier. GH4855-27. Te Papa

I’ve enjoyed searching through Te Papa’s collections to find items related to Christmas for this year’s advent calendar. Advent calendars developed from a 19th century German Lutheran tradition of counting down the 24 days before Christmas. An advent calendar has 24 doors that you open each day from 1 December to Christmas Eve to reveal… Read more »

Curious curios – all is revealed

  • Astroturf roof of Homegrown. Photographer Kirstie Ross
  • Mystery item 4, 1900s, GH002794, Te Papa
  • Mystery item 4, 1900s, GH002794, Te Papa
  • Mystery item 5, 1900s, GH002794, Te Papa

Yesterday I posted three mysterious objects from Te Papa’s history collections on the blog. The answers are below. But here’s another item to think about.  If you’re visiting Te Papa, you’ll see other curious curios in the area covered with astroturf in Slice of Heaven: 20th Century Aotearoa – an exhibiton about New Zealand last century…. Read more »

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, BA, DLitt, NZOM, 1925–2009

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Wellington based writer, 1979, courtesy of the New Zealand Herald Archive

Te Papa acknowledges the life and writing of poet, playwright, novelist, and memoirist Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. His work is noted for its attempts to reconcile the complexities and displacements he experienced as a result of his New Zealand/Cook Islands ancestry. Campbell was born in the Cook Islands and spent his first seven years there…. Read more »

New Zealand’s dinosaur expert passes away

  • Dinosaur toe bone found by Joan Wiffen
  • Dinosaur toe bone found by Joan Wiffen
  • Dinosaur toe bone found by Joan Wiffen
  • Dinosaur toe bone, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tonagarewa

Joan Wiffen, who found hard evidence that dinosaurs had inhabited New Zealand, died this month aged 87. I’m not a scientist, but I do have an interest in the history of science, and even I can see that Wiffen made historically significant and far-reaching contributions to scientific thinking. First findings In 1975, Wiffen found something remarkable in a remote stream… Read more »

1918 Influenza Pandemic

Influenza inhaler used during the 1918 pandemic

The spread of swine flu around the world has been dominating the media lately. Hopefully it won’t turn into a pandemic like the one that swept through New Zealand in late 1918. Originating in the northern hemisphere, this strain of the ‘flu killed an estimated 8251 New Zealanders over a period of about a month from mid-October… Read more »