Exhibition now closed
14 February 1998 – June 2007
This exhibition was replaced by Tangata o le Moana.
Mana Pasifika brings the feel of the tropical Pacific – its warmth and vibrancy – to Te Papa. It also brings you face-to-face with the widespread influence of Pacific people within New Zealand’s diverse community.
The exhibition celebrates the cultures of Polynesia and Fiji – their ceremonies, music and dance, food and feasting, costume and regalia, warfare, sport, and religion. It also explores the impact on New Zealand of these various communities and how living in New Zealand has affected them.
Treasures such as jewellery, weapons, musical instruments, and fine carvings illustrate the rich Pacific past. Also displayed are contemporary items, ranging from a Jonah Lomu phonecard set to Michel Tuffery's corned-beef-can cattle sculpture.
You can see how, over the years, Pacific peoples have adopted new materials and blended Pacific and European styles. But objects such as fine mats, tapa, tīvaevae (Cook Island quilts), and Fijian tabua (whale-tooth ornaments) remain at the heart of their cultures and are as important on ceremonial occasions today as they were a hundred years ago.
Images and stories bring objects alive. You can hear the stories of a young New Zealand-born Samoan who recently served with the New Zealand Army in Bosnia and a Tongan who was in Guadalcanal during World War II. Explore Pacific musical creativity through an array of sound clips of serious and popular music. Play the umu (earth oven) interactive game and learn how to cater for five hundred people at a Cook Island wedding.