The Story of Pacifc people in New Zealand
From Kupe to King Kapisi and bro Town, Pacific people are putting Pacific cultures - and New Zealand - on the map. Explore their stories past and present, from the battlefield to the sports field and beyond.
This large carved jovo (door post) was part of the doorway of a great round house made by the Kanak people of New Caledonia. These doorways, with their lintel, sill, and side carvings, were one of the main forms of architectural sculpture for the Kanaks. The large carved boards that flanked the door were among the most striking works of Kanak art.
This vaka (canoe) is one of two from atolls in the Cook Islands that feature in Tangata o le Moana. They were both made about 1900 and were exhibited at the New Zealand International Exhibition of Arts and Industries, held in Christchurch in 1906. Both are extremely rare in the world today.
This T-shirt was made by Siliga Setoga of PopoHardWear. Using a mock dictionary format, he has come up with a historically accurate yet humorous definition for the term ‘freshy’.
This is a very old and rare ‘ie toga (fine mat) from Samoa. On important occasions, high ranking matai (chiefs) and taupou (daughters of chiefs) may have worn it as a garment, but it has also been presented as a valuable in ceremonies that cement relationships between people.
The 21st Sentry Cyber Sister is made up of twenty-seven parts, each created by one of the members of the Pacific Sisters art collective – Rosanna Raymond (Samoa), Ani O’Neill (Cook Islands), and two of the founding members, Suzanne Tamaki (Te Arawa, Ngai Tuhoe, Ngati Maniapoto); and Niwhai Tupaea (Ngati Katoa).
Small pataka (storehouses) like this were a distinctive feature of some Maori settlements in the 1800s. They were used for storing objects like weapons and garments, and were built off the ground on a single post to provide protection from rats or other predators. Some posts were over seven metres high. This pataka was carved to be displayed in the Maori Hall of the former National Museum.
A tanoa fai‘ava (kava bowl) is used in the preparation of a drink made by mixing powdered roots of the kava (‘ava) plant with water. But this tanoa, with its painted decoration, was probably intended for the early tourist market, as a gift or display piece.
In 1959, a museum display artist made this model of a tattooed Marquesan warrior. At the time the practice of tattooing was disappearing, and the model was almost a monument to a vanishing art form. But since the 1980s there has been a revival in tattooing across east Polynesia, and interest in Pacific tattoo designs has spread across the world.
This tivaevae ta‘orei (patchwork quilt) is made from small brightly coloured squares hand-sewn on a backing of plain fabric, which also forms the border.
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