Posts categorized as Pacific

Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau: Tokelau Language Week

This week is the inaugural Tokelau Language Week (29 October – 4 November). The theme is Ke mau ki pale o Tokelau: Hold fast to the treasures of Tokelau. To celebrate, the Pacific Cultures team will post a blog each day highlighting cultural treasures from Tokelau in Te Papa’s collections. Today, in this first blog… Read more »

New Caledonian plants

  • Another threat to New Caledonia’s vegetation is browsing by introduced deer and pigs. Conservation International are trialling using the amount of browse on the fern Orthiopteris firma to monitor the effectiveness of animal control projects. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • New Caledonia has a higher GDP per capita than New Zealand, principally due to nickel and copper mining. Mining operations are widely evident. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • The large areas covered by Melaleuca trees are very reminiscent of Australia. But they are also testament to one of the major threats to New Caledonia’s vegetation – fire. The fern Dicranopteris linearis flourishes amongst the Melaleuca regeneration. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • As I knelt to collect a fern, I was stunned to find myself surrounded by pitcher plants, Nepenthes vieillardii. The ‘pitchers’ are traps for catching insects. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

Below are photos of some of the botanical/landscape highlights from the recent expedition to New Caledonia that I participated in. But first, a bit of background: New Zealand and New Caledonia both sit on the (largely) submerged continent Zealandia, which separated from Australia and the rest of Gondwana some 60-80 million years ago. Wikipedia’s page… Read more »

Niuean Katoua (club)

This is our final blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). In recent times, the katoua, a long club or cleaving club, has become an iconic symbol representing identity and culture for many Niueans. Used in festival and school performances, it is a… Read more »

Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week – a rare plastic bread bag hat

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. Today, in this fourth blog post, we feature this Panama-styled pulou (hat) - a surprisingly rare collectable. The pulou was made and worn by Moka Poi in Auckland in the 1990s. It… Read more »

1920s taoga (treasures) from Niue

Welcome to the third blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). This titi (skirt) was collected in the 1920s by H W Cockerill a telegraphic engineer for the General Post Office who helped install a wireless telephone station on Niue. The titi, one of… Read more »

Niue: the Rock of Polynesia

To celebrate Vagahau Niue: Niue Language Week (6-13 October 2012), the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting stories about Niue focusing on taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection. Today, in this second blog post we offer a short environmental profile of the Niue, sometimes referred to by locals as “The Rock of Polynesia”. We finish with… Read more »