A silver ribbon of bayonets

Berry projection

‘Sometimes they marched with fixed bayonets and you saw this silver ribbon come winding through the crowd…’  Ena Ryan This wonderful, almost cinematic line comes from an interview with Ena Ryan, a Wellingtonian who was born in 1908. In the interview she vividly recalls the outbreak of the First World War, and the trips with her father… Read more »

Rongoā Māori | Māori Medicine Part 2

  • Rongoa-Kawakawa-Waikanae
  • Rongoa Kawakawa Waikanae_080
  • Rongoa Kawakawa Waikanae_077
  • Rongoa Kawakawa Waikanae_070

Tēnā ano tātou – thank you for all of your support for last week’s blog! It is such an extraordinary privilege working with our Kaumatua and Kuia and sharing their kōrero with you. Feeding back the response from all the readers is ‘icing on the cake’. Here is our next instalment by our Kuia, Rihia Kenny, about… Read more »

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014): An Appreciation

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki (1943-2014), 2009 (Michael Hall, Te Papa)

By the Art Curators at Te Papa: Sarah Farrar, Athol McCredie, Lissa Mitchell, Chelsea Nichols, Justine Olsen, Rebecca Rice, Mark Stocker and Megan Tamati-Quennell The recent passing of Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, CNZM, (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kurī, Te Aopōuri, Pākehā), the national museum’s Head of Arts & Visual Culture, leaves not only Te Papa but the wider art… Read more »

The beautiful Kahoa Hihi of Niue Island – Niue language week 2014

  • photograph Salote Talagi
  • photograph Salote Talagi
  • photograph Anthony Liuvaie
  • kahoa 2

This week is Niue Language Week 2014. In this post, guest blogger Salote Talagi writes about kahoa hihi – beautiful shell necklaces from Niue. Materials and manufacture The kahoa hihi is a neck garland (kahoa) made from strings of tiny, distinctively yellow snail (hihi) shells. It is an iconic item of material culture from Niue…. Read more »

Who are the people in your neighbourhood?

  • Ernest Kilby from Island Bay refused to fight. Photo: John Cordner
  • Playing hide n seek in Seatoun. Photo:  Caroline Sarfati
  • Photographer William Berry and his family revisit 147 Cuba St. Photo: Claire Regnault
  • Norman at the top of the Cable Car. Photo: An anonymous friend.

Just as the old Sesame Street song enthuses, take a little walk through your neighbourhood and see who you meet. Chances are that this week you will come across some faces from the past. For bent, the mysterious artist responsible for many magical happenings around the city, from giant pigeons to miniature box cities, has been busy reuniting people of the past with… Read more »

New Zealand’s second nicest-smelling flowers now in bloom!

A cluster of lemonwood flowers. Photo: Lara Shepherd

Have you noticed a strong sweet smell while walking past any trees lately? You might be smelling the flowers of lemonwood/tarata (Pittosporum eugenioides). This native New Zealand tree is better known for its lemon-scented leaves than its flowers, which are small and pale. However, the flowers produce an almost overpowering honey-like fragrance when they bloom… Read more »

Five Minute Quiz… Niue Language Week 2014

Fakaalofa lahi atu! This week is Niue language week and the theme is ‘Fakaako, Fakaaoga, Fakamau-Kia Mauokafua e Vagahau Niue – Learn, Use, Retain – Maintain our Vagahau Niue’. Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collections have around 290 artefacts associated with Niue, including katoua (clubs), kato (baskets), lei (necklaces) and tao (spears). This week we will be sharing some of the… Read more »

Earlier this year we welcomed Ngāti Toa Rangatira into Te Papa to fill our iwi gallery and to be our iwi in residence for two and a half years. Together with iwi leadership from Ngāti Toa and Te Papa, the exhibition ‘Whiti Te Rā! The Story of Ngāti Toa Rangatira’, and a host of events have been created for you… Read more »

Taking to the streets lest we forget

Berry and Co Building_02

This week Te Papa, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are  taking our collections to the streets for an outdoor multi-media presentation as part of the Wellington City Council’s First World War commemoration programme. The launch of Lest We Forget on the 16 October marks the 100th anniversary of the departure of 8000 New Zealand troops… Read more »

Help hunt for kakabeak

Kakabeak (kowhai ngutu-kākā, Clianthus maximus) in cultivation in Wellington. Photo © Leon Perrie.

If you’re on the east coast of the North Island during this spring and summer, the Department of Conservation would like your help! Please look out for wild plants of the striking, red-flowered kakabeak. Department of Conservation’s blog post “Keep an eye out for kakabeak”. Kakabeak (kowhai ngutu-kākā, Clianthus maximus) is now Critically Endangered. Its… Read more »