Posts written by Safua Akeli

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural 2011 Māori and Pacific Textile… Read more »

Documenting Samoan to’i ma’a (stone adzes)

Roger Rasmussen, 2009

Since 2009, Roger Rasmussen, alongside his role as a Te Papa host, has vounteered to re-house, measure and photograph a collection of to’i ma’a (stone adze)  from Samoa which were gifted to the museum by Rhys Richards in 1991. Because of Roger’s important work, the images of the collection are now available for viewing on Collections Online. In May last… Read more »

A striking acquisition

This striking work Look Within 2 (2007) by Papua New Guinea artist Daniel Waswas is the latest addition to Te Papa’s collection of contemporary Pacific artworks. It depicts four images of the same person, conveying a message of self reflection and addressing the idea of identity from within one’s own background. In 2009, the painting… Read more »

Recent acquisition: Tongan fangufangu (nose flute)

In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intact nodes at each end, forming… Read more »

Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture – a new publication

Check out the new publication from Te Papa Press: Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture Photographs by Mark Adams, with essays by Sean Mallon, Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas One hundred memorable images by documentary photographer Mark Adams present a powerful and moving portraits of a great Polynesian art tradition. Tatau also tells… Read more »

Queen’s service medal for font designer Joseph Churchward

Joseph Churchward sketching at his desk

The 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list included Samoan-born font designer Joseph Churchward. Since the 1960s, Churchward has hand-created over 570 typefaces (fonts), the greatest number designed by any individual in the world. Click on the image to watch the video interview with Churchward on TVNZ: As a way of documenting Churchward’s work, in August 2008,… Read more »

Dance costume Cook Islands style

For this week’s blog, I have selected this Cook Islands costume, for its beautiful arrangement, and striking colours. This striking 1920s pareu kiri’au (hula skirt) from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, is made from long narrow strips of hibiscus bast fibre. Around the waistband, is blue cloth, with orange and yellow diamonds, which have been machine sewn onto… Read more »

Childhood ailment remembered through Tahitian necklaces

Objects associated with interesting stories, often find their way to the museum, here is a recent example. In May 2009, 13 Tahitian shell hei (necklaces) were gifted to Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collection by Anton Coppens. These are rare and important examples of hei made in Tahiti during the mid-twentieth century. Necklaces are an essential… Read more »