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Queen Sālote on the world stage

Ngatu Pepa [Vilene Tapa], 03.1996, Upper Hutt. Ilo Me'a Fo'ou (New Creations) - Tongan Womans Group. Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board Funds. Te Papa

For Tongan language week 2014 – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga I have been thinking about how our Tongan collection reflects this year’s theme “Ko e Kai ia ‘a e Tonga” – “Enriching Aotearoa with Tongan Wisdom”. My first thought was of the large ngatu pepa (2007) produced by Ilo Me’a Fo’ou a Wellington-based kautaha… Read more »

Tū whitia te hopo | Feel the fear and pronounce it anyway! Tip 1

Arohatia te Reo logo

Having trouble pronouncing kupu Māori? Many people are so afraid of giving it a go, they would much rather just give it a miss. Believe me I understand. There are words in other languages I avoid using for that very reason! For example, the scientific name for the manu  below is Himantopus leucocephalus…?! Or try saying “superfluous”… Read more »

Māori at Gallipoli – TedX talk “Forgotten grandfathers: Maori men of WW1″

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Kia ora koutou Last month I gave a talk at a TedX conference in Tauranga where I discussed some of the research I’ve undertaken as part of our exhibition development project here for an exhibition about Gallipoli (due to open April next year at Te Papa). I’ve been very busy assembling potential Māori content for that… Read more »

Delving into the household accounts of James Hector

  • Mrs Hector paid a Mrs Fahy to do her laundry. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • Bundles of James Hector's bills are held in Te Papa's archive. Photo: Simon Nathan.
  • A tally of purchases from I & H Barber - Butchers.
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Dr Simon Nathan is an Honorary Research Associate at Te Papa. During his research towards a biography on James Hector, the founder of the Colonial Museum, he has delved into the household accounts of the Hector family, which are held in Te Papa’s Archive. In this guest blog post, he shares some of his findings on the the lifestyle of a… Read more »

Arohatia te Reo: learning 50 kupu hou (new Māori words) – Te Reo and WWI research

"HURRAH FOR THE KING: MEMBERS OF THE MAORI CONTINGENT IN THE NEW ZEALAND CAMP AT ZEITOUN BEFORE THEIR DEPARTURE TO MALTA." 
Taken from the supplement to the Auckland Weekly News 27 May 1915 p 43
(Image courtesy of Auckland Libraries)

In honour of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, here are a number of kupu Māori (Māori words) that I constantly use in my everyday mahi/work as a curator at Te Papa, and especially in my research for the First World War exhibition we are presently developing. Many of the sources written in te reo Māori that date… Read more »

Objets trouvés : Signs of humanity at Ohinau Island.

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  • A shard of glas, with one bevelled edge found at the site of the old light-house in the South of Ohinau Island. Photo: Susan Waugh. Copyright: Te Papa.
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  • Sharp, and apparently worked pieces of stone found on the shearwater colonies at Ohinau Island. Photos: Susan Waugh, Copyright, Te Papa.

Recent work on Ohinau Island, Coromandel reinforced for me how fine the boundary is between the sciences. We were working on the biology of shearwaters nesting at an important historical site for Ngati Hei, an iwi from the eastern Coromandel. The island has been inhabited in the past, and was an important food gathering site… Read more »

Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira – now open!

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Kia ora koutou. The exhibition opening and celebratory weekend was amazing. Thank you to all the many people of Ngāti Toa Rangatira who helped make this day happen. Also our acknowledgements to our past iwi in residence, and all those who came to the dawn opening, travelling from far and wide. There were over a thousand people in… Read more »

Pukehinahina / Gate Pā flag in front of Te Papa

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Yesterday marked a huge day of commemorative activity in Tauranga to signify the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pukehinahina /Gate Pā, and here in Wellington, Te Papa also contributed to the commemorations. The museum flew a replica of the Gate Pa flag from its main flagpoles to acknowledge the 150th anniversary. It was flown… Read more »