Posts written by Sean Mallon

On the weekend, 33 tattooists from around the world took part in Indigenous Ink 2015 – a tattooing festival held in Auckland at MIT Manukau. Te Papa was there at the invitation of organiser Terry Koloamatangi Klavenes. I had a small role hosting presentations and conversations among the tattooists and their supporters. It was a privilege… Read more »

Tattooing is thousands of years of years old, and is a most visible part of New Zealand’s contemporary visual culture. It is a key expression of Maori identity and among Pacific Islands communities it is an important signifier of our cultural diversity – what connects us and what makes us different. This weekend (21-22 Nov) 33 tattoo… Read more »

Fiji language week (five minute quiz) 2015


Ni sa bula! This past week has been Fiji Language Week, with the theme “Noqu vosa, noqu iyau talei – My language, my treasure”. To mark the occasion the Pacific Cultures team have put together a short quiz featuring items from the museum’s collections. Have a go…

Fakatalofa atu, this past week has been Tuvalu Language Week,running until Sunday 4 October. The theme this year is Tau Gana Ko Tou Iloga: language is your identity. Test yourself with this short illustrated quiz, see what you know and learn more about Tuvalu and its people.

Tongan language week five minute quiz 2015

Tonga map

This week is Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga, Tongan language week. This year’s theme is Fakaloa Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e faiva ‘a e Tonga – Enriching Aotearoa with Tongan arts. The Pacific Cultures team invites you to take this quiz and reflect on Tonga’s rich artistic heritage.

Hip hop was here…from Day 1

Hip hop battle at the Hip Hop Hut

November was World Hip Hop History Month 2014. It was celebrated at Te Papa by Family Fun: Aotearoa Hip Hop 101 with special guest hip hop pioneers KOS 163, Rhys B and other members of the local hip hop community. The event celebrated 20 years of Wellington hip hop collective Footsouljahs and 30 years since the release… Read more »

Hip hop historians in the house – Hip Hop Aotearoa 101

Herbert Bartley, Sen, KOS, Truce, Rhys B, and Ati Teepa

Today in the Pacific Cultures Collections storeroom, we were visited by some of Wellington’s hip hop historians. The visit was in preparation for their hosting of a historic Back of House Hip Hop Tour this coming Sunday 2 November. As part of Family Fun:  Aotearoa Hip Hop 101 special guest hip hop pioneers KOS 163 and Rhys… Read more »

Whale tooth graffiti – Fiji language week 2014 (slideshow)


This is our last blogpost for Fiji Language Week 2014 where the theme has been ‘Noqu vosa, noqu iyau talei’ – My language, my treasure’. I thought I’d share a few examples where language actually appears on one of Fiji’s treasures. Tabua (pronounced  tambua – b=mb) are pierced and braided whales’ teeth, originally taken from… Read more »