Posts tagged with Māori

‘Pīata’ – a cloak returns home

Descendants of Rāwinia Ngāwaka Tūkeke gather around the kahu kiwi before the blessing inside the wharenui Te Poho o Kahungunu. Rongomaraeroa marae, Porangahau. 6 May 2012.

He kanohi kitea, he hokinga mahara. To see a face is to stir the memory. On Sunday 6 May 2012, a beautiful kahu kiwi cloak from the Te Papa collection, was named by her descendants as part of a special church service held at Rongomaraeroa marae, Porangahau. Te Papa Press recently published a cloak book… Read more »

More stories than you can shake a tokotoko at

Sorry about the length of time between posts, I’ve been juggling a bunch of different gigs and research duties. The fun don’t stop! But regardless of my shameless plea about time poverty, I better get this blog back up off its flatline….eep. I’ve only been a curator for 7 months and even if you were the brainiest… Read more »

Plants cultivated by Māori

  • Southern Wairarapa karaka grove. © Leon Perrie.
  • Southern Wairarapa whau. © Leon Perrie.
  • Arthropodium bifurcatum in a garden at Victoria University. © Leon Perrie.
  • Southern Wairarapa rengarenga. © Leon Perrie.

Alongside the plants brought from the tropical Pacific, it is thought that Māori cultivated at least a handful of New Zealand plant species. Massey University’s Lara Shepherd is investigating several such plants: karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus), rengarenga (Arthropodium cirratum), and whau (Entelea arborescens). Karaka in Te Papa’s Bush City. Karaka, rengarenga, and whau are all only found… Read more »

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium

2011 Māori and Pacific Textile Symposium The beating of aute, or tapa, is a heartbeat that resounds across the ocean of Kiwa. The harakeke of Aotearoa, symbolising family, acknowledges the relationship of the Pacific people as one, through weaving. These genealogical and material connections will be explored at the inaugural 2011 Māori and Pacific Textile… Read more »

Matau: traditional hooks, innovative design

  • Composite hook. Oldman Collection. Copyright Te Papa. OL000105
  • Hei Matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME015518
  • Pä kahawai. Copyright Te Papa. ME013868
  • Bone matau. Copyright Te Papa. ME009305

An exhibition of Mäori fish-hooks (matau) made from wood, bone, stone, and shell opens at Te Papa on Saturday December 4th. While early European explorers considered these fish-hooks to be ‘ill-made’ and ‘of doubtful efficacy’, research has shown that the design was highly effective. Unlike modern steel hooks, the Mäori hooks were attached with fishing… Read more »

A Day of Legends

  • tahi rua toru whā...pukana! |(c) Te Papa
  • Two best friends from Taranaki came to the Whānau day | (c) Te Papa
  • emmascary
  • Luke and Anton fish up the North Island in our Te Huka ā Tai Whānau Day | (c) Te Papa

On Wednesday, several children came to Te Huka ā Tai at Te Papa and fished up the Te Ika a Māui (the North Island).  And why not? After a long and lovely day soaking in some of the scariest, hairiest, chilling and thrilling myths and legends Aotearoa has produced, it just seemed…you know…like a good thing… Read more »

Avatar and the Pacific language connection

  • Language barrel in Tangata O Le Moana - The story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel in Tangata o le Moana; the story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel - in the Tangata O Le Moana - the story of Pacific people in New Zealand
  • Language barrel DSC03674

It seems the language of the Na’vi, the indigenous people of the planet Pandora, may be the latest addition to the family tree of Pacific languages. In recent publicity surrounding James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar, it was revealed that the development of the Na’vi language was influenced by Maori language. As reported by Charlie Gates… Read more »

Weavers National Hui 2009, Takitimu marae, Te Wairoa

  • Weaving with kuta (elaeocharis sphacelata)
  • Takitimu marae, before the pōwhiri
  • Sue Sheele talking with weavers
  • Handing over of the wakahuia to the next host weavers group

On the 23-26 October, fellow work colleague Hokimate Harwood and I attended one of the biggest events on the arts calendar of Māori weaving-the Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa Weavers National Hui. A biennial event, the first inaugural hui was called by Ngoingoi Pewhairangi of Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare, a member of the Māori South Pacific… Read more »