The star Waitī (Greek: Maia) is associated with all freshwater, and food sources that are sustained by those waters. Curator Mātauranga Māori Matiu Baker talks about a connection to this whetū in our collections.Read more

The star Tupuānuku (Greek: Pleione) is the star associated with everything that grows within the soil to be harvested or gathered for food. Curator Mātauranga Māori Dougal Austin talks about the connection between the star Tupuānuku and a kō in our collection.Read more

The star Tupuārangi (Greek: Atlas) is associated with everything that grows up in the trees: fruits, berries, and birds. Kaitiaki Taonga Collection Manager Humanities Cameron Woolford talks about the connection of Tupuārangi to taonga in our collections.Read more

The star Matariki (Greek: Alcyone) signifies reflection, hope, our connection to the environment, and the gathering of people. Matariki is also connected to the health and wellbeing of people. Kaitohutohu Rautaki-ā-Iwi Strategic Advisor Iwi Relationships Watene Campbell talks about how te ponga in our collections connects to the whetū (star) Matariki. Read more

The star Pōhutukawa (Greek: Sterope) is the star associated with those who have died. Curator Mātauranga Māori Amber Aranui talks about the whetū Pōhutukawa and remembers those being returned home, and a special person we recently lost from our Te Papa whānau.Read more

Jessie Prebble, former Te Papa/Massey PhD student in Botany, and Te Papa Curator Botany, Heidi Meudt (2016), holding a forget-me-not herbarium specimen. Te Papa

Taxonomic research involves a number of aspects, including field trips, lab work, studying and comparing live plants (in the field or glasshouse) or pressed specimens, and reading previous scientific papers. Not to mention analyzing and interpreting the data, incorporating previously published research, and writing up the results for publication. Sometimes, such research forms the basis of a post-graduate thesis (Master’s or PhD).  Curator Botany Heidi Meudt talks about one student’s journey.Read more

Myosotis antarctica Hook.f. subsp. antarctica, collected 15 December 2018, Mount Starveall Hut, South Island, New Zealand. CC BY 4.0. Te Papa (SP107322)

New research published by Jessie Prebble and colleagues resolves the taxonomy (naming and classification) of a group of small native forget-me-nots in the southern hemisphere. The new data show that some of these plants require different names. Curator Botany Heidi Meudt discusses what this means for their names.Read more

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.Read more

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.Read more