“Slow it down…your minds and hands make it happen.” This is a message that master carver Jill Benavente passes onto to her apprentices as they journey together as artists. Their hands and the hands of many other artists are key tools in the strengthening and decolonising of contemporary indigenous Chamorro culture on Guåhan /Guam. For… Read more »
Posts written by Sean Mallon
In the last six months, the arts and cultures of the Pacific have loomed large in New Zealand and Australia through a range of exhibitions, events and symposia. From Queensland’s Asia Pacific Triennial 8, the ground breaking 2016 Pacific Arts Association Symposium, Tautai’s Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust Arts 30 year exhibition, and the promise of… Read more »
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 »
This past weekend there was a large fire in the flea market at Savalalo in Apia, Samoa. The entire building was destroyed and with it the livelihood of many vendors and their families. The maketi (market) was a local landmark and an important part of my experience of Samoa as a visitor and tourist. It was… Read more »
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 »
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.
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.