Tapa, or barkcloth, is an important textile in the Pacific. Tapa is made from the beaten inner bark of some plant species, but once the tapa is made then identifying which plant species was used is difficult. Our genetics researcher Lara Shepherd teamed up with Catherine Smith from the University of Otago and colleagues to create a DNA reference database for identifying the plants used to make tapa.
Ngā mihi o te Tau Hou! Today’s New Moon marks the start of the lunar new year. So now is a good time to sync your life to the Maramataka – the Māori lunar calendar. Read on to learn about the Maramataka and what each day of the month is good for, and then download a dial to keep track of the days.
In April 2019, Te Papa acquired a rare, early oil painting by William Hodges, artist on Captain Cook’s second voyage, titled Waterfall in Dusky Bay with Maori Canoe. Here, Te Papa tour host Bill Whelen reflects upon his journeys into Dusky Sound, and finding the exact location of Te Papa’s newly acquired painting.