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Topic: Pacific Cultures Contemporary Collecting Focus

Is part of topic Pacific Cultures at Te Papa

Since the early 1990s, collection development has increasingly aimed to represent the visual culture and history of Pacific peoples in New Zealand. The scope is broad and ranges from contemporary high art and fashion through to new forms of weaving, tivaevae, and tapa that migrants have brought with them to New Zealand.

Complicating this changing curatorial focus is the fact that many island-based communities have become more transnational in nature as a result of developments in telecommunications, air travel, email, and print media.

Migrant communities throughout the world can now retain a sense of connectedness that transcends national boundaries. This is reflected in material objects - for example, a mat or quilt made by Tongan women in Los Angeles may be sent to Tonga as a gift and later brought to New Zealand to celebrate an important family event.

As Te Papa develops its understanding of the global connections Pacific peoples are making with each other and the wider world, its collections will continue to grow in ways that record these stories.

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