Posts categorized as Pacific

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 »

Childhood ailment remembered through Tahitian necklaces

Objects associated with interesting stories, often find their way to the museum, here is a recent example. In May 2009, 13 Tahitian shell hei (necklaces) were gifted to Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collection by Anton Coppens. These are rare and important examples of hei made in Tahiti during the mid-twentieth century. Necklaces are an essential… 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 »

Pauly Fuemana – making music history

  • Pacific beats mixing booth: Tangata O le Moana exhibition (Te Papa)
  • Pacific beats mixing booth: Tangata O Le Moana exhibition (2008- present) (Te Papa)
  • Sounds Pacific : Mana Pasifika music interactive 1998 (Te Papa)
  • mana pasifika music interactive MA_I014573

Musician Pauly Fuemana died yesterday after a short illness. He was 40 years old. Pauly is from a talented family of musicians, who were pioneers in hip hop and the music industry in South Auckland. He was frontman for the group OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) but is best known for How Bizarre written with producer… Read more »