Posts categorized as Māori

Cliff Whiting: Visionary, innovator, tōhunga, teacher, scholar, master artist

Man stands in foreground with marae in the background

It is with enormous sadness that Te Papa acknowledges the passing of Cliff Whiting (6 May 1936–16 July 2017). His contribution to Te Papa and the arts in Aotearoa was immeasurable. An esteemed teacher and practitioner of Māori arts, Cliff was appointed Director Director Bicultural Relations for the Museum of New Zealand in 1993, and… Read more »

Meeting a man I will never know: Jonathan Mane-Wheoki

Ruby stands with some boxes in Te Papa's archives

Ruby Abraham, a Museum and Heritage Studies student at Victoria University, has spent the last 5 weeks on placement at Te Papa working intimately with the archive donated by Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014). She explains how she’s got to know Jonathan (and the Ke Emu database) through processing and cataloguing his archive. When I began my placement at Te… Read more »

Putting the pieces back together after the earthquake

A lady in a white lab coat paints a canoe prow

On 14 Nov 2016 an earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale shook Wellington awake. All-in-all Te Papa’s buildings and its collection were virtually unscathed. Out of over two million collection objects, only nine were damaged. One of the damaged objects was a plaster cast replica of an 18th century tauihu (canoe prow). Charlotte Jimenez,… Read more »

Collecting Challenging Histories – the ‘Manga Kahu’/‘Maunga Kahu’ (Black Power) T-shirt

T-shirt, ‘Maunga Kahu’, September 2009, Whanganui, New Zealand, by Denis O’Reilly (Black Power). Gift of Denis O’Reilly, 2017. Te Papa (ME024195)

Today is International Museum Day. Mātauranga Māori senior curator Puawai Cairns considers this year’s theme – ‘Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums’ – through the ‘Maunga Kahu’ protest T-shirt. When I acquire material for the museum’s collection, there is an image in my head that I constantly refer to, to help me… Read more »

Tamatea ‘Dusky Sound’ revisited

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Mātauranga Māori curator Dougal Austin offers an indigenous perspective on first contact between Māori and Cook’s men in Tamatea (Dusky Sound). In November 2016 I took part in a field trip to remote Tamatea, or Dusky Sound, in Fiordland. Together with natural history scientists including a designated photographer, our team spent 10 days in the sounds sailing… Read more »

Curating to heal: Ways of creating sovereign spaces in museums

Dominion Museum Education Service School Case. Black and white file print from negative MA_B.010164. Te Papa

Mātauranga Māori curator Matariki Williams discusses the role of curators healing past wrongs, something being addressed in our new exhibition about motherhood and Māori women. At Museums Australasia last year, a conference convened by the New Zealand and Australian museums associations, visiting Metis academic and artist David Garneau interrogated the etymology of the word ‘curate’. Garneau… Read more »

Commemorate, celebrate: Waitangi Day in Aotearoa

Okains Bay 2015

That protests are “cringe-worthy” sells short what they truly reflect, says Mātauranga Māori curator Matariki Williams ahead of Waitangi Day. If some media personalities are to be believed, Waitangi Day is a day for New Zealanders to be embarrassed about. In the interest of wanting to end the cycle of that tired narrative, I’ll leave you to… Read more »

Feather identification workshop, Whanganui Regional Museum

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In a collaboration between National Services Te Paerangi and Whanganui Regional Museum, Te Papa’s bicultural researcher Hokimate Harwood brought her extensive feather identification skills to a community of 30 weavers and bird enthusiasts earlier this year. Hokimate’s feather identification research looks to decode materials and messages within kākahu | feather cloaks. This means bringing together… Read more »

Marti Friedlander 1928 – 2016

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It is with sadness that we at Te Papa learned photographer Marti Friedlander passed away in Auckland on Monday 15 November. Marti was born in London of Jewish parents and emigrated to New Zealand with her Kiwi husband Gerrard in 1958. She was shocked by how conservative New Zealand was at the time and gravitated… Read more »