To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Sämoa (Samoan language week) the Pacific Cultures curators are highlighting stories related to cultural treasures from Sämoa. Selu la’au or selu pau as it is commonly known, were ornamental carved wooden combs made from the late 1800s using metal tools. A variety ofRead more

Malifa handbook; FE010588; Te Papa

To celebrate le vaiaso o le gagana Sämoa (Samoan language week) I have decided to draw attention to a small handbook which was gifted to the museum in 1954. The front cover of this handbook indicates that it was presented to Mr and Mrs D A J Rutherford in 1936.Read more

This coming Saturday, 6 August 2011 is the opening of the combined Oceania exhibition between Te Papa and Wellington City Gallery. Te Papa’s exhibition titled Early Encounters will showcase a range of taonga and objects from History, Maori, Pacific Cultures, Art and Natural Environment collections. The three month long showRead more

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 inauguralRead more

Roger Rasmussen, 2009

Since 2009, Roger Rasmussen, alongside his role as a Te Papa host, has vounteered to re-house, measure and photograph a collection of to’i ma’a (stone adze)  from Samoa which were gifted to the museum by Rhys Richards in 1991. Because of Roger’s important work, the images of the collection are now available for viewing onRead more

This striking work Look Within 2 (2007) by Papua New Guinea artist Daniel Waswas is the latest addition to Te Papa’s collection of contemporary Pacific artworks. It depicts four images of the same person, conveying a message of self reflection and addressing the idea of identity from within one’s ownRead more

In March 2009, Te Papa was gifted a small but significant collection of objects from Derek J. Wilson. This collection included two Tongan fangufangu or nose flutes that were made from bamboo. Historically, fangufangu were used to awaken the Tongan royalty from their sleep. The newly acquired fangufangu, have intactRead more

The 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list included Samoan-born font designer Joseph Churchward. Since the 1960s, Churchward has hand-created over 570 typefaces (fonts), the greatest number designed by any individual in the world. Click on the image to watch the video interview with Churchward on TVNZ: As a way of documentingRead more