Posts tagged with feathers

He huia tangata tahi – there is but one person synonymous with the huia, the chief

photo of kahu kiwi me003714

Ngā rau kura – Precious feathers In 2007 I identified the birds in Te Papa’s Māori cloaks using microscopic analyses of feather down and museum bird skin comparisons. My findings have provided a deeper knowledge of the museum’s natural history and Māori collections but also an appreciation and understanding of Māori bird use at the… Read more »

Ask the feathers

Left: 'amakua hulu manu Kūka'ilimoku (feathered image), 1700s, maker unknown; feathers, animal teeth, pearl shell and plant fibres; gift of Lord St Oswald, 1912. Right: Close-up showing black Hawai'i mamo feathers used for the eyebrow

In early March, Te Papa Tongarewa was asked by an overseas museum if they could borrow ‘amakua hulu manu Kūka’ilimoku (feathered image) for an exhibition. As part of the process to allow or decline a loan, all the materials that make up an object need to be identified. We were unsure of the exact species… Read more »