Pacific Cultures team

Find out about the people that make up our Pacific Cultures team and their roles at Te Papa.

Safua Akeli Amaama

Head of New Zealand and Pacific Histories and Cultures

Safua Akeli Amaama is a historian, with a particular interest in Pacific-New Zealand relations. She has research interests in cultural heritage, gender, migration, health, and governance.

Sean Mallon

Senior Curator Pacific Histories and Cultures

Sean Mallon stands in front of wall of Pacific collection items

Sean Mallon specialises in the social and cultural history of Pacific peoples in New Zealand. He is the author of Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing (2017) with Sébastien Galliot, and is currently researching issues relating to the agency and activism of Pacific peoples in museums.
Sean’s publications on Google Scholar

Emelihter Kihleng

Curator Pacific Cultures

Emelihter is passionate about textiles and contemporary fashion from Pohnpei Island in the Federated States of Micronesia and larger Oceania. Her first love is poetry and she is drawn to interdisciplinary, mixed-genre exhibitions that blur the lines of ‘art.’