Posts written by Puawai Cairns

Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″

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Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

Pukehinahina / Gate Pā flag in front of Te Papa

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Yesterday marked a huge day of commemorative activity in Tauranga to signify the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pukehinahina /Gate Pā, and here in Wellington, Te Papa also contributed to the commemorations. The museum flew a replica of the Gate Pa flag from its main flagpoles to acknowledge the 150th anniversary. It was flown… Read more »

Traces of Pukehinahina / The Battle of Gate Pā in Te Papa – The New Zealand Wars

1992-0035-1631/9B
Watercolour
W.F. Gordon. 1869
Purchased 1916

“The Battle of Gate Pa was arguably the most important battle of the New Zealand Wars, in terms of both its political effects and its wider implications for military technology. Historians have failed to appreciate its full significance because the contemporary British interpretations, on which they rely, were dominated by the shock of defeat and… Read more »

Time spent at Gallipoli

  • Sunset looking out from Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013
  • Anzac Cove, looking towards the hills. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013
  • A partial skull near one of the trenches, probably uncovered by recent rains. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, Te Papa 2013
  • Bone poking out of the ground near Chunuk Bair, probably uncovered by recent heavy rain. It was covered up again by our party. Photograph by Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa 2013

It is an unusual thing as any researcher can tell, to feel you know a place with great familiarity through in-depth reading and research but when visiting that place for real, find that no amount of reading will ever compensate for actually standing there in person. That’s the reaction I had on visiting Gallipoli a… Read more »

A recent acquisition to mark the end of this year’s Matariki celebrations

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“Matariki Ahunga Nui – Matariki is a provider of abundant resources” This recent acquisition (purchased June 2013) is a tukutuku tūrapa, or panel named ‘Matariki’. It was woven to acknowledge the Maori New Year by master weaver Sonia Snowden (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi). It is made of kiekie, pīngao , woven in a lattice form… Read more »

Matariki approaches

Te Papa Tongarewa, 2013

“Whakanuia te Tau Hou Māori ki te Taiopenga o Matariki ki Te Papa. I tēnei tau ka whai tātou i te kōrero mō te whakarauora o Matariki rātou ko āna tamāhine i a Tama-nui-i-te-rā. Ko te mana whakaora tēnei o te ira wahine, o te ira tupua, o ngā whetū o Matariki. Matariki (Māori New… Read more »

Rātana Church and Mita Ririnui: The Colours of Service

  • Filming Mita Ririnui in Te Papa studio. June 2012. Photographer Puawai Cairns, copyright Te Papa Tongarewa 2012.
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  • Decoding the Āpotoro Rēhita robes

ME024090; Āpotoro Rēhita Haahi Rātana Kākahu (Registered Apostle Ratana Church religious clothing) Continuing the blogging about some of the key uniforms and acquisitions for the Uniformity exhibition, this blog is going to talk about one of my favourite uniforms in the show: the robes of an Āpotoro Rēhita from the Rātana Church and a uniform… Read more »

“We are the same-same.” Rapa Nui visitors to Te Papa Tongarewa

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  • The visiting group and the curator, in front of Te Hono ki Hawaiki (Te Papa's wharenui)
  • the Rapa Nui people, during a parade at the Festival of the Arts

This past Saturday (1 December 2012), we had a special request from a group of visitors who were going to be in Wellington for a weekend. They wished to come in and talk to some of the curators and see the collection. This is relatively common but what was slightly unusual about the group was… Read more »