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.
This year’s theme for Uike Kātoanga‘i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga | Tongan Language Week is “Fakakoloa ‘o Aotearoa ‘aki ‘a e Ako Lelei”, which means “enriching Aotearoa with holistic education”. Guest writer Malia Pole‘o shines a light on how a holistic education is beneficial for Tongan learners today – and for future generations.