Posts written by Puawai Cairns

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

  • Kikopiri
  • Snowden 1
  • Snowden 2
  • Maori women from Otaki

“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

  • Me and Koro (Alberto)
  • Rapa Nui 006
  • 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 »

Uniformity: Making the Curatorial Cut

  • Jerry UGS
  • Graphic for Sir Jerry's uniform. Te Papa 2012.
  • Taiaha Kura http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=132774&term=taiaha+red
  • Photographer Michael Hall, Te Papa 2012.

 I’ve been asked a lot of questions about why some of the new acquisitions were pursued and why they were put into this show, so hopefully this entry will help answer some of the queries and shed light on the curatorial decisions made for Uniformity. In my last blog Uniformity: Why Uniforms Matter, I talked about… Read more »

Holding hands across the water: 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, Honiara Solomon Islands

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Every four years, an enormous event called the Festival of Pacific Arts is held in a different part of the Pacific. It is one of the most significant pan-Pacific gatherings where island nations from across Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia meet to share their arts – customary and contemporary – and renew the ancestral links that… Read more »