Posts written by Puawai Cairns

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 »

More stories than you can shake a tokotoko at

Sorry about the length of time between posts, I’ve been juggling a bunch of different gigs and research duties. The fun don’t stop! But regardless of my shameless plea about time poverty, I better get this blog back up off its flatline….eep. I’ve only been a curator for 7 months and even if you were the brainiest… Read more »