Posts categorized as Māori

Matau: traditional hooks, innovative design

  • Composite hook. Oldman Collection. Copyright Te Papa. OL000105
  • Hei Matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME015518
  • Pä kahawai. Copyright Te Papa. ME013868
  • Bone matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME009305

An exhibition of Mäori fish-hooks (matau) made from wood, bone, stone, and shell opens at Te Papa on Saturday December 4th. While early European explorers considered these fish-hooks to be ‘ill-made’ and ‘of doubtful efficacy’, research has shown that the design was highly effective. Unlike modern steel hooks, the Mäori hooks were attached with fishing… Read more »

A Day of Legends

  • tahi rua toru whā...pukana! |(c) Te Papa
  • Two best friends from Taranaki came to the Whānau day | (c) Te Papa
  • emmascary
  • Luke and Anton fish up the North Island in our Te Huka ā Tai Whānau Day | (c) Te Papa

On Wednesday, several children came to Te Huka ā Tai at Te Papa and fished up the Te Ika a Māui (the North Island).  And why not? After a long and lovely day soaking in some of the scariest, hairiest, chilling and thrilling myths and legends Aotearoa has produced, it just seemed…you know…like a good thing… Read more »

The art of sounding the pūtātara shell trumpet

  • Richard Nunns talks to Te Papa's taonga pūoro group, March 2010.
  • Richard Nunns putatara1
  • Richard Nunns putatara2
  • Richard Nunns with a pūtātara

The staff in Te Papa’s taonga pūoro group are very lucky to have Richard Nunns as our mentor. Through his teaching and encouragement we continue to explore the kaupapa of taonga pūoro. Richard is an incredibly busy man, travelling throughout New Zealand and often overseas, involved in many different projects.  If he has a spare hour and he’s in… Read more »

Avatar and the Pacific language connection

  • Language barrel in Tangata O Le Moana - The story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel in Tangata o le Moana; the story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel - in the Tangata O Le Moana - the story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel DSC03674

It seems the language of the Na’vi, the indigenous people of the planet Pandora, may be the latest addition to the family tree of Pacific languages. In recent publicity surrounding James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar, it was revealed that the development of the Na’vi language was influenced by Maori language. As reported by Charlie Gates… Read more »

Christmas tree tikis at Te Papa

  • tiki decorations on the Te Papa Christmas tree
  • tiki right
  • Christmas tree tiki with sequins
  • Christmas tree tiki

It’s Christmas at Te Papa and this year’s Christmas tree decorations are on a pounamu and paua theme. The colourful creations include tikis as you’ve never seen them before! Here’s one with fabulous tropical looking flowers… But my favourite tiki is this one with it’s red sparkly hearts… If you’d like to make a decoration… Read more »

Pounamu taonga up close and now online

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Tim Tait is one of Te Papa’s  talented IT developers and one smart cookie.  He put together the fabulous touchscreen image browser which you can find in our Kura Pounamu exhibition – and after more of Tim’s hard work this is now available on our website. All 200 of the incredible pounamu taonga on display in the… Read more »

Weavers National Hui 2009, Takitimu marae, Te Wairoa

  • Weaving with kuta (elaeocharis sphacelata)
  • Takitimu marae, before the pōwhiri
  • Sue Sheele talking with weavers
  • Handing over of the wakahuia to the next host weavers group

On the 23-26 October, fellow work colleague Hokimate Harwood and I attended one of the biggest events on the arts calendar of Māori weaving-the Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa Weavers National Hui. A biennial event, the first inaugural hui was called by Ngoingoi Pewhairangi of Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare, a member of the Māori South Pacific… Read more »

Taonga pūoro – recording the moment

  • Brian Flintoff carving a nguru
  • Warren Warbrick, Brian Flintoff and Jo Pleydell working on a pukaea. Copyright Te Papa
  • Norman Heke working on his pukaea - and taking a break from being the photographer. Copyright Te Papa
  • Hau Manu members Warren Warbrick, James Website, Brian Flintoff, Richard Nunns, Alistair Fraser and Horomona Horo in front of Te Heke-Mai-Raro

One of Te Papa’s photographers Norman Heke is usually behind the camera. He’s been at many hui and wānanga, studiously taking photos to put together a wonderful photographic record of these events. This time Norm was able to take part in the taonga pūoro wānanga and learned how to make and play a pūkāea. A mystery photographer captured… Read more »