Posts tagged with Pacific

Remembering tīvaevae designer Mama Maria Teokota’i Sila (1938 – 2017)

Mama-Maria-tivaevae

Pacific Collection Manager Grace Hutton and the rest of the Pacific Cultures team acknowledge the recent passing of artist and maker of tīvaevae Mama Maria Teokota’I. Kua ‘aere ki te po, Gone into the night In addition to being a very creative tīvaevae designer, Mama Maria was also a very religious and spiritual woman. She made… Read more »

Language, culture, and the impact of ‘Slavers in Paradise’

  • C.003104. Arrival of supplies on Atiu Island.  George Crummer, circa 1914
  • O.037817 Beach Penrhyn.  Andrew Thomas, 1886, Penrhyn Atoll (Tongareva)
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  • Manihiki O.037810

Curator Pacific Cultures Rachel Yates takes a look at the book Slavers in Paradise, and a lesser-known episode of Cook Islands and Pacific history. As part of the lead up to Te ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani (Cook Islands Language week), I made a list of potential reads, mainly historical non-fiction books featuring writers or stories… Read more »

Conserving plastics: why you should keep your Barbie in the fridge

Two 70s Barbies wearing 70s outfits. Their faces are a much more yellowy/green colour than their bodies

Many people believe that plastic items are indestructible and will last forever. But what if you learnt this wasn’t the case? Conservator, Nirmala Balram, gives us an insight into the science of plastic deterioration and how you should look after your prized plastic possessions. So much plastic The world of plastics is huge. Plastics are… Read more »

Opinion: why we should beware of the word ‘traditional’

Portrait of Albert Wendt; 1996; Photographer: Hamish McDonald

In 1994, four years before the opening of Te Papa, Samoan novelist and scholar Albert Wendt was an advisor for the planned Pacific exhibitions. He requested that we abandon the use of terms like ‘traditional art’ in our labels and display signage. ‘Traditional means nothing to me!’ he said. At the time, I didn’t understand… Read more »

The changing art of tatau: Samoan tattooing

Two Samoan men tattoo a man lying on the floor

Currently on level 5 at Te Papa, the exhibition Whakarakei | Adorned, brings together paintings, prints, and cultural treasures to explore the art of adornment in Māori and Pacific cultures. In the latest issue of Te Papa’s online art magazine, Off the wall, Rebecca Rice and Nina Tonga asked Sean Mallon, Senior Curator Pacific Cultures,… Read more »

Remembering Tufuga Holoatu Lagatule (1938-2016) – leader among the Pacific communities in Christchurch

Tufuga-Holoatu-Lagatule

Recently the Pacific Cultures team at Te Papa were informed of the passing of one our elders and leaders, Tufuga Holoatu Lagatule. She was born in Niue and came to New Zealand as a teenager in 1957. She became an important figure among the Pacific communities living in Christchurch, in New Zealand’s South Island, where… Read more »

Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s gift to Cook: a sacred cloak and its history of display

’ahu ’ula ( feathered cloak), 1700s, Hawaii, maker unknown. Gift of Lord St Oswald, 1912. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (FE000327)

  In 1779, the chief of Hawai‘i Island, Kalani‘ōpu‘u, who traced his regal line to the great chief Līloa of Waipiʻo, greeted an English captain named James Cook after his ship made port in Kealakekua Bay. As a demonstration of his goodwill, Kalani‘ōpu‘u gifted the ‘ahu ʻula (feathered cloak) and mahiole (feathered helmet) he was… Read more »