Posts written by Sean Mallon

Queen Sälote of Tonga (1900–65) composer and poet

This is rare fragment of tapa commemorates the war effort of Queen Salote and the Tongan people who raised money for the British to buy Spitfire airplanes during the Second World War (1939-1945). The aircraft depicted was the first of 3 Spitfires donated to the British war effort by the Queen and people of Tonga.  A total of 15,000 pounds was raised in Tonga for this purpose, the aircraft depicted on the tapa was the result of the first payment of 5,000 pounds in April 1941.

 This week is Tongan Language Week – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga. This is the third blog post where the Pacific Cultures team highlight collection items that relate to Tongan language and culture.  In Tongan Language week it is difficult to look past the contributions of Tonga’s Queen Sälote (1900–65) to the preservation and creative… Read more »

Kava drinking and Tongan culture

This week is Tongan Language Week – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga. This is the second blog post for this week where the Pacific Cultures team highlight collection items that relate to Tongan language and culture.  This is a kumete, a wooden bowl used in Tongan communities for the preparation of kava, a beverage made… Read more »

Celebrating Tongan Language Week (1 September to 8 September)

Matakimoana by Filipe Tohi 2007

This week is Tongan Language Week – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga. Over the next five days the Pacific Cultures team will be blogging about collection items from Tonga that relate to Tongan language and culture.  The week is promoted by the Aotearoa Tongan Teachers Association in partnership with the Human Rights Commission, other organisations… Read more »

Islands style – Cook Islands (circa 1914)

This is the fourth blog where we highlight items from the collections as part of Cook Islands language week (6-10 August 2012). I have selected a small number of portraits by George Crummer who had a photography business in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 1890.   Te Papa has an album and 227 (now badly deteriorated) negatives taken… Read more »

Tauhunu – a vessel carrying culture

Tangata_01

 Tauhunu As part of Cook Islands language week we are highlighting artefacts from the Cook Islands collections. One of the treasures we look after here at Te Papa is a stunning canoe that appears at the entrance of the exhibition Tangata o le Moana: the story of Pacific people and New Zealand on level four…. Read more »

Star Wars and the Fiji connection

In my previous post about the Fiji collections, I included a few images of Fijian weapons from Te Papa’s collections. In this blog post I thought I’d take the Fiji weapon story a bit further and into popular culture. Here, I just want to highlight the small contribution Fiji weapons offered to the imaginings for one of… Read more »

Nöfoaga seu lupe (pigeon netting stool) from Samoa

Nofoaga seu lupe (pigeon netting stool)

To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Sämoa (Sämoan language week) the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Samoa. The third collection item for this week is a nöfoaga seu lupe (pigeon netting stool) that was used in the 1800s for the sport of pigeon hunting. The nöfoaga was used… Read more »

Celebrating Samoan Language Week

This type of necklace is called an 'ulafala. It is most often worn by Samoan tulafale (orator chiefs). In the context of oratory performances, 'ulafala are important markers of social status. In other social and ceremonial situations they can help identify a special guest or simply act as an attractive adornment. 'Ulafala are made from segments of the pandanus fruit described by botantists as carpels, phalanges, or keys. The colour of the fruit spans a range from yellow through to orange and red when ripe. Red is a colour associated with high rank. This 'ulafala has been painted bright red, making it difficult to miss at any ceremony or function.

 Sunday 27 May to Saturday 2 June 2012. Over the next week the Pacific Cultures team will be blogging about collection items from  Sämoa that relate to the theme of this years  Sämoan Language week  “O le Vāfealoa’i” “Strong and Respectful Relationships”. According to the Human Rights Commission website “Samoan Language Week was first promoted by Radio… Read more »