Posts written by Sean Mallon

Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s gift to Cook: a sacred cloak and its history of display

ahu ula

  In 1779, the chief of Hawai‘i Island, Kalani‘ōpu‘u, who traced his regal line to the great chief Līloa of Waipiʻo, greeted an English captain named James Cook after his ship made port in Kealakekua Bay. As a demonstration of his goodwill, Kalani‘ōpu‘u gifted the ‘ahu ʻula (feathered cloak) and mahiole (feathered helmet) he was… Read more »

Star Wars and the Fiji connection: redux

Totokia (club), 1800s, Fiji, maker unknown. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (OL000130.S/5)

The movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in New Zealand on 17 December. But did you know the franchise has a connection to the warriors of 19th century Fiji? Fijian weapons had a small role in the imaginings for one of the most successful science fiction films of all time….George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977)…. Read more »

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

rugby

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 »