Is the Aztec ballgame the Mexican secret weapon?

Ballgame rings and codex image of the court in Aztecs: Conquest and glory. Photo Norman Heke, 2013

I’ve never really been one to follow football, but like so many others I couldn’t help taking an interest in the latest New Zealand verses Mexico games. Obviously my connection with Mexico has become particularly strong through the development of the Aztecs: Conquest and Glory exhibition and even though the collegial bonds are robust, and… Read more »

HANZAB is now on NZ Birds Online!

  • Book cover icons as they appear on NZ Birds Online species pages. The HANZAB (Volume 3) icon is fourth from the top in this example.
  • HANZAB citation
  • HANZAB volume 4 in the process of being scanned. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • HANZAB 7vols

Which probably reads as gobbledegook, unless you are a serious bird nerd.  HANZAB is the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds, and is the most comprehensive compilation of information on birds of this part of the world ever produced. The seven volumes were published between 1990 and 2006, and occupy 47 cm of… Read more »

Packed full of stunning pictures, detailed information and beautiful bird calls, NZ Birds Online is an online encyclopaedia of birds created in collaboration between Te Papa, DOC and OSNZ. We’re indebted to the photographers who’ve shared their images with us – and now the world! First up in our Meet the photographers series is Glenda Rees, an avid… Read more »

Khandallah kids go ‘behind the scenes’ – a student’s response

Khandallah School Room 5 visiting Te Papa's Natural Sciences collection. Photographer: Scott Ogilvie © Te Papa

On Monday, I wrote a blog about Khandallah School’s visit to our bird and insect collection. It was clear to me that the students had a wonderful time – but why not let them tell you that! This post has been written by Lara from Room 5. Last Friday I was so excited, it was… Read more »

Samoan language scholar and cultural advisor retires: Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin

Galumalemana

The Pacific Cultures team at Te Papa would like to acknowledge the retirement of Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin from his role as head of Samoan Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Galumalemana founded the Samoan Studies Department and has published books and articles on the Samoan language. Galumalemana has been a key advisor for Te Papa… Read more »

Mexico City, long before the All Whites arrived

Island Capital of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan (mural), Covarrubias, Luis (1919-1987) Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City, Mexico

Much has been made in the lead up to the All Whites’ game in Mexico City and the imposing atmosphere of Estadio Azteca – it’s easy to see why. The stadium itself can hold up to 105,000 people with over 21 million in the wider metropolitan area, while the valley in which the city is… Read more »

A plague of flax weevils – a conservation hyper-success story

  • Dead flax bushes as the flax weevil release site on Mana Island, Nov 2013. Image: Jeff Hall, Department of Conservation
  • Tui feeding on flax nectar. Image: Craig McKenzie, New Zealand Birds Online
  • Flax weevils on a flax flower stalk at night on Mana Island, Nov 2013. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Flax weevils browse on an immature flax flower spike at night on Mana Island, Nov 2013. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Most people think of weevils as little maggoty grubs that infest stored grain products. Which is true, but the reality is that the weevil family is the most diverse family of organisms on the planet, with more than 50,000 species. Weevils are beetles, and adults are characterised by having a long snout and antennae bent… Read more »

The Berry Girls: the enigmatic ‘Mrs Johnson’

Thanks to an article in the Dominion Post and also a piece on TV One news in response to our blog, we have had a flurry of correspondence regarding our Berry Girl mystery. While we have received a number of possible identifications for ‘O’Brien’, and will soon be able to reveal her identity, ‘Johnson’ remains enigmatic. Johnson’s uniform… Read more »

Petrus van der Velden died in Auckland one hundred years ago today, destitute and far from his native Netherlands. He had arrived in Christchurch in the summer of 1890-91, the beginning of a decade credited with changing the path of New Zealand’s painting. Already an established artist, whose work and attitude had impressed the young… Read more »