Our Mapping the Sāmoa Collections project is a collaboration between Te Papa and the Bishop Museum in Hawai‘i and aims to enhance museum catalogue records and develop digital maps to contextualise taonga; enhancing their visibility and improving associated biographies, which then allows communities to utilise and share these resources, as well as support museum collections and knowledge. In 1930, Māori academic Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) published the ethnological book Samoan Material Culture, whilst working for the Bishop Museum based on his collections and fieldwork in Sāmoa in the 1920s. This connection and sustained collaboration is an opportunity to better understand the scope of the collections, oral histories, and indigenous knowledge systems which feature in this work. Research Assistant Alexander Gordon reflects on his first forays into the project.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

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This is the third blog in our series about the real people behind the eight Weta Workshop-crafted models featured in Gallipoli: The scale of our war. The previous two blogs have been about Spencer Westmacott and Percival Fenwick. This one focuses on Colin ‘Col’ Warden, shown in this pre-war photograph,Read more

The short answer to this question is yes. I raise this topic in this blog as I reflect on the way that Pacific communities in New Zealand are commemorating our ancestors participation in the First World War, and whether we were present during the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula. The AustralianRead more

Early enlister John Jessen (above) was the first of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co to enlist for service. The 23-year-old signed up on 8 August 1914, just two days after the Defence Department invited single men between the ages of 20 and 35, weighing not more than 12Read more

“Taofi mau i au measina: Hold fast to your treasures” is the theme for Sāmoan language week 2014. We hope you have followed our tweets and Instagrams over the last few days. To close off this week we look at tatau (tattooing) – one of Sāmoa’s most well known cultural treasures. ThisRead more

“Taofi mau i au measina: Hold fast to your treasures” is the theme for Sāmoan language week 2014. Indeed, looking after cultural treasures is a significant part of Te Papa’s role in the community. We develop collections of cultural artefacts from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the very old to theRead more

Herbert Ian Fetaiai Bartley, Te Papa Audience Engagement Facilitator writes: Working at Te Papa for 5 years, I still get really excited visiting the Pacific Collection Store room. Each time, I always spot something I have never seen before and ask our knowledgeable Pacific Cultures team loads of questions. A lotRead more

We were all saddened by the recent passing of Auckland and Samoan rugby stalwart Peter Fatialofa (1959-2013). In the last few weeks, much has been written about his wonderful personality and character, his leadership on and off the rugby field and his rich contribution to Samoan and New Zealand rugby.Read more