In a nod to Samoan Language Week – which started on Sunday and runs through to Saturday – and to round off New Zealand Music Month, Curator Pacific Cultures Rachel Yates put the spotlight on the Yandall Sisters, who ruled the New Zealand ’70s music scene. Do you like good music? That sweet soulRead more

It’s New Zealand Music Month! Rachel Yates, Curator Pacific Cultures, looks at the influence of Bob Marley on the musical landscape of New Zealand. Since 2001, driven by the New Zealand Music Commission, the month of May has been dedicated to the promotion and celebration of local New Zealand artistsRead more

In 1994, four years before the opening of Te Papa, Samoan novelist and scholar Albert Wendt was an advisor for the planned Pacific exhibitions. He requested that we abandon the use of terms like ‘traditional art’ in our labels and display signage. ‘Traditional means nothing to me!’ he said. AtRead more

Tory Street Open Day, 2015. Photographer Kate Whitley, ©Te Papa

New technology is making it easier than ever to offer everyone a glimpse behind the scenes at Te Papa. We’ve shared tens of thousands of images collection objects in high resolution, and we’ve opened our venue spaces to Google Maps so that you can peek inside the museum. Recently, we’ve beenRead more

Join me, Cat Williams, over the coming months as I investigate and conserve one of Te Papa’s recent acquisitions – a painted wooden shield from Papua New Guinea. Yes, it is decorated with The Phantom! Items in our national collection have fascinating biographies and often there is still much toRead more

Deep in the jungle of Bangalla lives a masked comic-strip marvel known as the Phantom, a guardian of the innocent who fights against the destruction of injustice. His powerful feats, which stretch over four hundred years, earned him the alias of the ‘Ghost Who Walks’ and the ‘Man who NeverRead more

On our recent co-collecting project in Guåhan with Humanities Guåhan we spent time in the workspaces of indigenous Chamorro blacksmiths, carvers and weavers. The next blog in our ‘inside the artist studio’ series delves into the practices of two weaving practitioners, James Bamba and Mark Benavente. Both artists have collaborated on severalRead more

When you walk through an exhibition, it is easy to forget that the objects and taonga on display are the final products of a long creative process. While they may result from moments of inspiration or from countless studies, they are also formed by an artist’s ability to problem solve aRead more

“Slow it down…your minds and hands make it happen.” This is a message that master carver Jill Benavente passes onto to her apprentices as they journey together as artists. Their hands and the hands of many other artists are key tools in the strengthening and decolonising of contemporary indigenous ChamorroRead more