Posts categorized as Pacific

Recent acquisition: Tongan fangufangu (nose flute)

In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intact nodes at each end, forming… Read more »

When You’re Two

Ukuleles in PlaNet Pasifika Photo by Anna Sheffield © Te Papa 2010

The earliest memory I have of my youth takes me back to approximately age three. I was finishing the weekly “playgroup” session with a few neighbours my age which had been held at my house that time. My mother was getting ready to drive the other kids home when my dad returned from work. I… Read more »

Collections Online update: Mapping

Collections Online mapping

Mapping the collections This week we added a new feature to Collections Online, our first efforts to map our collection objects, specimens and other resources.  As you browse the collection, the Related Places section at the right of the page will generate a map of the places related to the collection item or resource – just click… Read more »

Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture – a new publication

Check out the new publication from Te Papa Press: Tatau: Samoan Tattoo, New Zealand Art, Global Culture Photographs by Mark Adams, with essays by Sean Mallon, Peter Brunt and Nicholas Thomas One hundred memorable images by documentary photographer Mark Adams present a powerful and moving portraits of a great Polynesian art tradition. Tatau also tells… Read more »

Tapa – stunning artworks in Paperskin exhibition

  • Conservator Rangi Warnes shows one of the magnets used to hold the tapa in place.
  • Demonstrating the power of the magnets.
  • Conservator Rangi Warnes shows one of the powerful magnets used to hold the tapa in place.
  • The 5 metre long tapa from Mangaia, in the Cook Islands is hung on the wall.

This Saturday 19 June Te Papa opens it’s new tapa exhibition – Paperskin: the art of tapa. You’ll be able to see a stunning range of more than 40 tapa artworks from throughout the Pacific. Huge awe inspiring masks from Papua New Guinea,  Hawaiian tapa more than two hundred years old, and an incredible 22 metre… Read more »

Queen’s service medal for font designer Joseph Churchward

Joseph Churchward sketching at his desk

The 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list included Samoan-born font designer Joseph Churchward. Since the 1960s, Churchward has hand-created over 570 typefaces (fonts), the greatest number designed by any individual in the world. Click on the image to watch the video interview with Churchward on TVNZ: As a way of documenting Churchward’s work, in August 2008,… Read more »

Dance costume Cook Islands style

For this week’s blog, I have selected this Cook Islands costume, for its beautiful arrangement, and striking colours. This striking 1920s pareu kiri’au (hula skirt) from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, is made from long narrow strips of hibiscus bast fibre. Around the waistband, is blue cloth, with orange and yellow diamonds, which have been machine sewn onto… Read more »