Fa’alupega or the naming of chiefly titles is a fundamental part of Samoan culture and custom, as it connects individuals and families to land and origins of their past. This book O le tusi fa’alupega o Samoa was adapted from the work of Misi Kirifi Le Mamea, Te’o Tuvale, T. E. Faletoese,Read more

We would like to pay a special tribute to Samoan artist Joseph Churchward who sadly passed away last weekend. We were privileged to have worked with Joseph in 2008, when my colleague Sean Mallon (Senior Curator Pacific Cultures) and I curated the exhibition Letter Man: Joseph Churchward’s world of type (2008). I recallRead more

This week is the inaugural Tokelau Language Week (29 October – 4 November). The theme is Ke mau ki pale o Tokelau: Hold fast to the treasures of Tokelau. To celebrate, the Pacific Cultures team will post a blog each day highlighting cultural treasures from Tokelau in Te Papa’s collections.Read more

This is our final blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). In recent times, the katoua, a long club or cleaving club, has become an iconic symbol representing identity and culture for many Niueans. Used in festival andRead more

Welcome to the third blog in our series focusing on Niue taoga (treasures) from Te Papa’s collection for Vagahau (Language) Niue Week (6-13 October). This titi (skirt) was collected in the 1920s by H W Cockerill a telegraphic engineer for the General Post Office who helped install a wireless telephone station onRead more

As part of celebrating Tongan Language Week: Uike Kātonga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga (1-8 September) the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting some of the Tongan items in Te Papa’s collection. Today’s blog is the last of our series. Tongan fangufangu (nose flutes) are beautifully crafted musical instruments. Historically, fangufangu were used to awakenRead more

As part of celebrating Tongan Language Week: Uike Kātonga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga (1-8 September) the Pacific Cultures team are highlighting some of the Tongan items in Te Papa’s collection. This is the  fourth blog in our series. Tongan ngatu also known as tapa cloth is an important part of Tongan art and tradition. TeRead more

Today’s post is the last in our blog series for Cook Islands language week (6-8 August). I have decided to look at a variety of ‘ei taomi pare (hatbands) from the Pacific Cultures collection. Usually ‘ei taomi pare are placed on a hat around the crown area. These ‘ei are separated fromRead more

Yellow dress with flower embroidery

To celebrate Cook Islands language week, the Pacific Cultures team are blogging about collection items from the Cook Islands. Here, Safua Akeli talks about the mu’umu’u (dress) worn in the Cook Islands. These mu’umu’u (dress) are part of a number of dresses acquired by the Pacific Cultures collection in 2009 from Tepaeru Tereora. Tereora was theRead more

These battle shields from Chimbu (Simbu) in the Papua New Guinea Highlands were collected by a New Zealand couple who spent nearly a decade teaching in the country until their return to New Zealand in 2009. The shields are significant for their cultural value and use in warfare among theRead more