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 Mäori
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 he
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.
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’d
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, a
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 a