The movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in New Zealand on 17 December. But did you know the franchise has a connection to the warriors of 19th century Fiji? Fijian weapons had a small role in the imaginings for one of the most successful science fiction films of allRead more

This week is Tongan language week 2014 – Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga. The theme for this year is “Ko e Kai ia ‘a e Tonga” – “Enriching Aotearoa with Tongan Wisdom”. Te Papa’s Pacific Cultures collections have just over 1000 artefacts associated with Tonga, from art works andRead more

You may have heard of the television shows Ninja Warrior and maybe even American Ninja Warrior, but what about Ultimate Niuean warrior?  Sorry, we don’t have a Youtube clip for you, but we do have some examples of the gear and weapons worn by the old school toa (warriors) –Read more

In my previous post about the Fiji collections, I included a few images of Fijian weapons from Te Papa’s collections. In this blog post I thought I’d take the Fiji weapon story a bit further and into popular culture. Here, I just want to highlight the small contribution Fiji weapons offered toRead 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