An exhibition of Mäori fish-hooks (matau) made from wood, bone, stone, and shell opens at Te Papa on Saturday December 4th. While early European explorers considered these fish-hooks to be ‘ill-made’ and ‘of doubtful efficacy’, research has shown that the design was highly effective. Unlike modern steel hooks, the MäoriRead more

Luke and Anton fish up the North Island in our Te Huka ā Tai Whānau Day | (c) Te Papa

On Wednesday, several children came to Te Huka ā Tai at Te Papa and fished up the Te Ika a Māui (the North Island).  And why not? After a long and lovely day soaking in some of the scariest, hairiest, chilling and thrilling myths and legends Aotearoa has produced, it justRead more

Were you one of the hundreds who came to the Museum or watched online last year?  Make sure you pencil Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 June 2010 in your diary – Kaumātua Kapa Haka is back for Matariki! Come and watch the grace, elegance and beauty of senior Māori performingRead more

Richard Nunns talks to Te Papa's taonga pūoro group, March 2010.

The staff in Te Papa’s taonga pūoro group are very lucky to have Richard Nunns as our mentor. Through his teaching and encouragement we continue to explore the kaupapa of taonga pūoro. Richard is an incredibly busy man, travelling throughout New Zealand and often overseas, involved in many different projects.  If heRead more

It seems the language of the Na’vi, the indigenous people of the planet Pandora, may be the latest addition to the family tree of Pacific languages. In recent publicity surrounding James Cameron’s blockbuster film Avatar, it was revealed that the development of the Na’vi language was influenced by Maori language.Read more

Te Papa's pounamu and paua Christmas tree

It’s Christmas at Te Papa and this year’s Christmas tree decorations are on a pounamu and paua theme. The colourful creations include tikis as you’ve never seen them before! Here’s one with fabulous tropical looking flowers… But my favourite tiki is this one with it’s red sparkly hearts… If you’dRead more

Tim Tait is one of Te Papa’s  talented IT developers and one smart cookie.  He put together the fabulous touchscreen image browser which you can find in our Kura Pounamu exhibition – and after more of Tim’s hard work this is now available on our website. All 200 of the incredible pounamuRead more

Takitimu marae, before the pōwhiri

On the 23-26 October 2009, fellow work colleague Hokimate Harwood and I attended one of the biggest events on the arts calendar of Māori weaving-the Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa Weavers National Hui. A biennial event, the first inaugural hui was called by Ngoingoi Pewhairangi of Te Whānau-a-Ruataupare, aRead more

One of Te Papa’s photographers Norman Heke is usually behind the camera. He’s been at many hui and wānanga, studiously taking photos to put together a wonderful photographic record of these events. This time Norm was able to take part in the taonga pūoro wānanga and learned how to make and play aRead more

Earlier this week Hongoeka marae in Plimmerton was filled with the sounds of taonga pūoro (Maori musical instruments) – accompanied by the buzzing of  sanders and the call of tuis flitting among the flaxes. I was one of twenty Te Papa staff who took part in a three day wānangaRead more