Posts categorized as Uncategorized

“We are the same-same.” Rapa Nui visitors to Te Papa Tongarewa

  • Me and Koro (Alberto)
  • Rapa Nui 006
  • The visiting group and the curator, in front of Te Hono ki Hawaiki (Te Papa's wharenui)
  • the Rapa Nui people, during a parade at the Festival of the Arts

This past Saturday (1 December 2012), we had a special request from a group of visitors who were going to be in Wellington for a weekend. They wished to come in and talk to some of the curators and see the collection. This is relatively common but what was slightly unusual about the group was… Read more »

Historic Māori Cloak in China

  • Close up of cloak,chicken hackle feathers. Image courtesy of the New Zealand Embassy, Beijing.
  • Cloak on display adjacent to a Brian Brake image of Taramakau river, Southland. Image courtesy of the National Museum of China.
  • The cloak on display adjacent to a Brian Brake image of Taramakau River. The photograph emphasises the colours of Papatūānuku (the earth mother) complimenting the design and colors of the feathers on the cloak. Image courtesy of National Museum of China.
  • Chairman Mao Zedong wearing the feather cloak presented by Ramai Hayward on behalf of King Korokī, 1957. Image still from National Film Archive.

“The smallest is as great as the largest.” October 1st, 1957. Dusk descends on Tiananmen Square, Peking, now known as Beijing. Fireworks crackle light across the night sky, above a city alive with National Day festivities and celebrations. Two intrepid New Zealand film-makers- Rudall and Ramai Te Miha Hayward are there, documenting the life and times of… Read more »

Uniformity: Making the Curatorial Cut

  • Jerry UGS
  • Graphic for Sir Jerry's uniform. Te Papa 2012.
  • Taiaha Kura http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=132774&term=taiaha+red
  • Photographer Michael Hall, Te Papa 2012.

 I’ve been asked a lot of questions about why some of the new acquisitions were pursued and why they were put into this show, so hopefully this entry will help answer some of the queries and shed light on the curatorial decisions made for Uniformity. In my last blog Uniformity: Why Uniforms Matter, I talked about… Read more »

World’s rarest whale revealed to the world.

M traversii mother

Even in this well-informed age it’s surprising how much we still don’t know about the natural world – especially the oceans!    All whales must come to the surface to breathe, despite this the Spade-tooth whale Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), an animal over 5m in length, has never been see alive, and until 31 December 2010 no one… Read more »

‘Vacant lot of cabbages’ documentation enters Te Papa’s archives

  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Purchased 2012, Te Papa. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.
  • Barry Thomas, 'Vacant lot of cabbages' documentation, 1978. Photo: courtesy of Barry Thomas.

In 1978 contemporary New Zealand artist Barry Thomas undertook a public art project in inner city Wellington. Utilising a vacant lot on the corner of Willis and Manners Streets, the artist and his friends cut through a wire perimeter fence, delivered a truckload of top soil to the site and planted 180 cabbages. The project… Read more »

Tokelau kie tau (fine mat) with an edge

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. For today’s blog, I would… Read more »

Tuluma – fishing boxes of Tokelau

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 third blog post… Read more »