The theme for this year’s ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te Oneone o tōku ‘Ui Tupuna which means connect me to the soil of my ancestors. To mark the week Curator Pacific Cultures Rachel Yates has a taratara with current staff member Kate Ngatokorua about her experiences as Miss Cook Islands.
The Sāmoan Multiplicities research project, headed by Dr Safua Akeli Amaama (Te Papa) and Prof. Philipp Schorch (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), explores how contemporary Sāmoan identity is spatially and temporally distributed, as well as how and why Sāmoan-ness remains intact despite past and present ongoing transformations. In this blog, Research Assistant Annika Sippel presents an overview of the project so far and considers some of the avenues in which our own collections can engage with ideas of Sāmoan Multiplicities.
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.
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.