Posts written by Safua Akeli

A collection of Fa’alupega (chiefly titles) – Le vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa (Samoan language week)

FE012543; O le Tusi FAALUPEGA o Samoa; 1981; Malua Printing Press; printing paper; Samoa Islands

 To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Samoa (Samoan language week) 26-31 May 2013, the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Sämoa. Fa’alupega or the naming of chiefly titles is a fundamental part of Samoan culture and custom, as it connects individuals and families to land and origins of their… Read more »

A tribute to font designer Joseph Churchward (1933-2013)

0019-joseph churchward

We would like to pay a special tribute to Samoan artist Joseph Churchward who sadly passed away last weekend. We were privileged to have worked with Joseph in 2008, when my colleague Sean Mallon (Senior Curator Pacific Cultures) and I curated the exhibition Letter Man: Joseph Churchward’s world of type (2008). I recall well Joseph’s sense of humour… Read more »

Tokelau kie tau (fine mat) with an edge

This week is the inaugural Tokelau Language Week (29 October – 4 November). The theme is Ke mau ki pale o Tokelau: Hold fast to the treasures of Tokelau. To celebrate, the Pacific Cultures team will post a blog each day highlighting cultural treasures from Tokelau in Te Papa’s collections. For today’s blog, I would… Read more »

Treasures from the Porirua Mafutaga Tupulaga Tokelau

This week is the inaugural Tokelau Language Week (29 October – 4 November). The theme is Ke mau ki pale o Tokelau: Hold fast to the treasures of Tokelau. To celebrate, the Pacific Cultures team will post a blog each day highlighting cultural treasures from Tokelau in Te Papa’s collections. This second blog post acknowledges the… Read more »

Niuean Katoua (club)

This is our final blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). In recent times, the katoua, a long club or cleaving club, has become an iconic symbol representing identity and culture for many Niueans. Used in festival and school performances, it is a… Read more »

1920s taoga (treasures) from Niue

Welcome to the third blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). This titi (skirt) was collected in the 1920s by H W Cockerill a telegraphic engineer for the General Post Office who helped install a wireless telephone station on Niue. The titi, one of… Read more »

Celebrating Vagahau (Language) Niue

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highligting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. In 1972, over a few months, a group of scientists from Te Papa, then known as the Dominion Museum, made a visit to Niue as part of an expedition to survey the… Read more »

Documenting history on Tongan fangufangu

As part of celebrating Tongan Language Week: Uike Kātonga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga (1-8 September) the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting some of the Tongan items in Te Papa’s collection. Today’s blog is the last of our series. Tongan fangufangu (nose flutes) are beautifully crafted musical instruments. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their… Read more »