Preparing to install some of the masks from Papua New Guinea.

This Saturday 19 June Te Papa opens it’s new tapa exhibition – Paperskin: the art of tapa. You’ll be able to see a stunning range of more than 40 tapa artworks from throughout the Pacific. Huge awe inspiring masks from Papua New Guinea,  Hawaiian tapa more than two hundred years old,Read more

The 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours list included Samoan-born font designer Joseph Churchward. Since the 1960s, Churchward has hand-created over 570 typefaces (fonts), the greatest number designed by any individual in the world. Click on the image to watch the video interview with Churchward on TVNZ: As a way of documentingRead more

For the last few months, the Pacific team have been auditing the Niue collection, where objects are photographed, and the catalogue record updated. Niue also known as Nuku-tu-taha is located between Tonga and the Cook Islands. We had an enquiry from a scholar who was researching throwing techniques, and wasRead 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

For this week’s blog, I have selected this Cook Islands costume, for its beautiful arrangement, and striking colours. This striking 1920s pareu kiri’au (hula skirt) from Rarotonga in the Cook Islands, is made from long narrow strips of hibiscus bast fibre. Around the waistband, is blue cloth, with orange and yellow diamonds, whichRead more

Objects associated with interesting stories, often find their way to the museum, here is a recent example. In May 2009, 13 Tahitian shell hei (necklaces) were gifted to Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collection by Anton Coppens. These are rare and important examples of hei made in Tahiti during the mid-twentiethRead 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

Musician Pauly Fuemana died yesterday after a short illness. He was 40 years old. Pauly is from a talented family of musicians, who were pioneers in hip hop and the music industry in South Auckland. He was frontman for the group OMC (Otara Millionaires Club) but is best known forRead more

In 2008, I co-curated a small show in our Illot Gallery about Samoan-born graphic designer Joseph Churchward, who has hand-crafted about 570 fonts to date. Last year, Joseph received the John Britten Award, from the Designers Institute of New Zealand, for outstanding leadership, vision and achievement in the field of typeRead more

In early March, Te Papa Tongarewa was asked by an overseas museum if they could borrow ‘amakua hulu manu Kūka’ilimoku (feathered image) for an exhibition. As part of the process to allow or decline a loan, all the materials that make up an object need to be identified. We wereRead more

I had a call yesterday from Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper needing an expert to identify some fish found washed up on the Petone foreshore.  Andrew Stewart, Te Papa’s fishes collection manager, identified them as porcupine fish. Andrew says that the porcupine fish lives around in-shore reefs, especially along our northern coastsRead more