The theme for Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa – Sāmoan Language Week 2022 is Fa’aāuāu le Folauga i le Va‘a o Tautai – Continue the Voyage with Competent Wayfinders of the Ocean. In Sāmoan society, the tulāfale or orator has a wayfinding role. Through their lāuga (oratory) they represent the interests of ali‘i in any formal occasions or events. They are the mouthpiece of families, villages and districts and are influential in directing ceremonies, presentations and cultural protocols. Curator Pacific Histories and Cultures Sean Mallon looks at the material culture of the tulāfale – the tools and accessories of their trade.
Rose Namoori-Sinclair is from Tabiteuea Island in Kiribati. She is currently working as UN Coordination Specialist – Kiribati. Her extensive research background, as part of a PhD research with the Pacific Studies Programme within Va‘aomanū Pasifika at Victoria University of Wellington, has focused on the health and wellbeing issues of Pacific women. We asked Rose some questions about the significance of te taetae ni Kiribati (Kiribati language) in Aotearoa New Zealand.
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
“Slow it down…your minds and hands make it happen.” This is a message that master carver Jill Benavente passes onto to her apprentices as they journey together as artists. Their hands and the hands of many other artists are key tools in the strengthening and decolonising of contemporary indigenous Chamorro
In the last six months, the arts and cultures of the Pacific have loomed large in New Zealand and Australia through a range of exhibitions, events and symposia. From Queensland’s Asia Pacific Triennial 8, the ground breaking 2016 Pacific Arts Association Symposium, Tautai’s Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust Arts 30 year
On the weekend, 33 tattooists from around the world took part in Indigenous Ink 2015 – a tattooing festival held in Auckland at MIT Manukau. Te Papa was there at the invitation of organiser Terry Koloamatangi Klavenes. I had a small role hosting presentations and conversations among the tattooists and their