• Marks of Mana - The Legend of Tatau

    Marks of Mana - The Legend of Tatau

    'Marks of Mana' an exploration of the stories of tatau for women in the Pacific. Coming soon to the Coconet TV.

  • Cook Islands Princess

    Cook Islands Princess

    These are only some of the artwork & drawings by Mama Tupou at the tender age of 74 yrs. Mama Tupou has had several Art exhibits including Tivaevae bedspreads.  Her late Mother, Mama Toa was an expert Taunga in Tivaevae Art. Mama Tupou is the iconic N.Z Dusky Maiden, immortalised on black velvet by the late, Charlie Mcphee.  Hailed as a goddess she is without doubt one of the most beautiful Polynesian women ever painted in history.

  • The Legend of Telesa

    The Legend of Telesa

    Ever been told to cover the mirror up at night? Or comb your hair in the moonlight? this is in case you attract or offend the Teine Sa..  They are beautiful and fearsome in equal measure, they are the spirit women who wander the villages of Samoa guarding different villages..one of the most well known is Telesa the aiku goddess of Lepea in Upolu. In Samoa, your hair, flowing, waving and weaving, becomes alive with magic in the moonlight.... Beware the power of your hair and beware the flaunting of it, lest the fury of the Teine Sa is invoked. #PacificLegends #Samoa #Moonlight #Curse #Hair

  • What Pacific Islanders Want you to Know

    What Pacific Islanders Want you to Know

    Pacific Islanders dispel stereotypes and give some real history on their Pacific Island nations.

  • NIUE - Fun Facts!

    NIUE - Fun Facts!

    We've put together some fun facts about the Rock of Polynesia - NIUE - just for you!

  • AGGIE GREYS HOTEL

    AGGIE GREYS HOTEL

    The extraordinary story of Aggie Grey and the building of her hotel empire is one that has held the hearts of many who have had the opportunity to stay at the iconic property. {{5644}} Built on swamp land from a meager $200 loan from a family member, the hotel went through many famous transitions by an extraordinary woman who put her best foot forward in a male dominated business world and kicked the door open for years to come. {{5646}} This archival piece from Tagata Pasifika traces the families history before the opening of its second hotel in the early 2000s.

  • History behind why some U.S territories can't vote

    History behind why some U.S territories can't vote

    In Guam and American Samoa, you can serve in the U.S. military but can't vote. Here's why... A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. Think that's fair?

  • The market at Savalalo, Apia – collecting and recollecting

    The market at Savalalo, Apia – collecting and recollecting

    Last week a large fire ravaged the flea market at Savalalo in Apia, Samoa. The entire building was destroyed and with it the livelihood of many vendors and their families. The maketi (market) was a local landmark and an important part of my experience of Samoa as a visitor and tourist. It was also a site with a connection to Te Papa. Source: By Sean Mallon - Te Papa Blog  I used to travel to Samoa regularly in 1990s and into the early 2000s on personal trips – mainly to visit family. I’d try to get away once a year, saving up for the airfare and going for a week or two. A memorable part of every visit was dropping in on the maketi in downtown Apia. It was a colourful maze of narrow alley ways squeezed between a never ending procession of stalls. There were rows of printed textiles, t-shirts and used clothing draped from floor to ceiling; carvings, kava bowls, personalised combs and bracelets covering the tables. In those days, before the market at Fugalei was built, there was fresh produce at the markets perimeter, and food stands selling taro, pawpaw and bongo cheese snacks. The first time I visited Samoa with my brother we’d always stop by in the morning for a second breakfast, and buy the compulsory condensating plastic bag of hot panikeke costing about 10 sene each.  photo: http://www.samoa.travel/ It was easy to see that the market was an important economic hub for Samoa, a space for small businesses to ply their trade and sell their wares. It was where crafts people and other vendors could secure much needed cash, to pay for school fees, cultural obligations and the goods and services of an increasingly urban lifestyle. The maketi was a social space where people met their friends, had a meal, and shared a cigarette or gossip. In the 1990’s I recall a kava bowl (always full) that was more social than ceremonial, with a few older men sipping the day away and flicking flies with their fans. The maketi could also be a place of hardship and struggle, conflict and disagreement. http://www.foodandtravel.me/apia/ The maketi was where the rural and the urban came together, a departure and arrival point for Samoa’s famous buses filled with people and products. They would line up in the nearby terminal with their booming sound systems and racing stripes, offloading and picking up passengers, maintaining an important link between the town and the villages. Selu (Comb), 1999, Samoa, maker unknown. Gift 1999. Te Papa (FE011298) The maketi was where the local and global converged. It was a destination for tourists, some of them palagi, but many of them Samoans born overseas. At the maketi they could find a souvenir or gift and take a little bit of Samoa home with them. Tuiga (ceremonial headdress), 1994, Samoa, by Matalena Sefo. Purchased 1994 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa (FE010352) Te Papa’s connection to the maketi is through its collections. Over the years we have made some wonderful finds among the stalls. In 1994, on one of my trips to Samoa, I thought I’d look out on the museum’s behalf for items that would help improve our representation of Samoan culture and society. One morning I was navigating my way among the masses of merchandise on display, when right in the middle of it all I spotted a tuiga (Samoan ceremonial headdress). It was prominently placed, almost on a pedestal; it was a focal point, perhaps a novelty, among all the maketi’s distractions. I spoke to the maketi manager, acting as agent for the maker, who said he hadn’t seen a tuiga for sale in a long time. Matalena Mauga Sefo, a 70 year old woman from Lotofaga village in Aleipata, made this example. It was a contemporary version of an old style tuiga decorated with plastic beads, several small round mirrors and feathers. I was keen to buy it. We had a short negotiation about the price but it was such an event that when the purchase was finalised, the public address system announced that “…a ‘young boy’ from New Zealand has bought the tuiga!” Almost the entire marketplace cheered with applause. It was one of those “…am I on candid camera?” moments. My one regret is that I never met the maker Matalena Mauga Sefo. However, I am grateful that we were able to acquire our first tuiga and represent some of her work in the museum. The maketi manager in 1994 – Laulua Mailata of Vaimoso The destruction of the maketi will no doubt disrupt the pattern of life in Upolu for many months to come. It will impact many people. It’s sad to see such an important site disappear so suddenly – a place that connected people with people, city with village and Samoa with the outside world. We wish the people of Apia a speedy rebuild and recovery.

  • Dr. Martin Luther King and the lei connection

    Dr. Martin Luther King and the lei connection

    Why did the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wear a lei on his famous 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, his relationship with Akaka and other Hawaii ties of the great civil rights leader. Ever wonder why the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders on that famous march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. wore lei? Turns out King had special ties to the Aloha State, and to the family of U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. It's altogether fitting that the Hawaii Legislature opens its annual session this week as the state and the rest of the nation commemorate what would have been King's 83rd birthday. King, in his 1959 address to a special session of the Hawaii Legislature, praised Hawaii for its ethnic diversity. "We look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice," King said in his address. Five years after those words, King carried a bit of Hawaii to Alabama. That five-day, 54-mile march from Selma, where an Alabama state trooper had shot and killed church deacon Jimmie Lee Jackson, to the state capital, helped bring King to the forefront of the nation's imagination, spurring the cause of nonviolent protest that would be picked up and championed by an entire generation, fomenting the hope of equality for all mankind.  The lei were no artifice. King had strong Hawaii ties, from his 1959 address to the Hawaii Legislature to his relationship with the Rev. Abraham Kahikina Akaka, older brother of Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii. Abraham Akaka, kahu (shepherd) of Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu, developed a close friendship with King when King came to Honolulu in 1964 to participate in a Civil Rights Week symposium at the University of Hawaii, according to Akaka's obituary in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.  Abraham Akaka later sent the lei to King as a gift, according to a 1991 article in Jet Magazine by Simeon Booker.  Here's the text of King's speech, as recorded in the Journal of the Hawaii House of Representatives: The following remarks were made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Thursday, September 17, 1959 at the Hawaii House of Representatives 1959 First Special Session:  “Mr. Speaker, distinguished members of the House of Representatives of this great new state in our Union, ladies and gentlemen: It is certainly a delightful privilege and pleasure for me to have this great opportunity and, I shall say, it is a great honor to come before you today and to have the privilege of saying just a few words to you about some of the pressing problems confronting our nation and our world. I come to you with a great deal of appreciation and great feeling of appreciation, I should say, for what has been accomplished in this beautiful setting and in this beautiful state of our Union. As I think of the struggle that we are engaged in in the South land, we look to you for inspiration and as a noble example, where you have already accomplished in the area of racial harmony and racial justice, what we are struggling to accomplish in other sections of the country, and you can never know what it means to those of us caught for the moment in the tragic and often dark midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, to come to a place where we see the glowing daybreak of freedom and dignity and racial justice. People ask me from time to time as I travel across the country and over the world whether there has been any real progress in the area of race relations, and I always answer it by saying that there are three basic attitudes that one can take toward the question of progress in the area of race relations. One can take the attitude of extreme optimism. The extreme optimist would contend that we have come a long, long way in the area of race relations, and he would point proudly to the strides that have been made in the area of civil rights in the last few decades. And, from this, he would conclude that the problem is just about solved now and that we can sit down comfortably by the wayside and wait on the coming of the inevitable. And then segregation is still with us. Although we have seen the walls gradually crumble, it is still with us. I imply that figuratively speaking, that Old Man Segregation is on his death bed, but you know history has proven that social systems have a great last-minute breathing power, and the guardians of the status quo are always on hand with their oxygen tents to keep the old order alive, and this is exactly what we see today. So segregation is still with us. We are confronted in the South in its glaring and conspicuous forms, and we are confronted in almost every other section of the nation in its hidden and subtle forms. But if democracy is to live, segregation must die. Segregation is a cancer in the body politic which must be removed before our democratic health can be realized. In a real sense, the shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of an anemic democracy. If we are to survive, if we are to stand as a force in the world, if we are to maintain our prestige, we must solve this problem because people are looking over to America. Just two years ago I traveled all over Africa and talked with leaders from that great continent. One of the things they said to me was this: No amount of extensive handouts and beautiful words would be substitutes for treating our brothers in the United States as first-class citizens and human beings. This came to me from mouth of Prime Minister Nkrumah of Ghana. Just four months ago, I traveled throughout India and the Middle East and talked with many of the people and leaders of that great country and other people in the Middle East, and these are the things they talked about: That we must solve this problem if we are to stand and to maintain our prestige. And I can remember very vividly meeting people all over Europe and in the Middle East and in the Far East, and even though many of them could not speak English, they knew how to say ‘Little Rock.’ And these are the things that we must be concerned about – we must be concerned about because we love America and we are out to free not only the Negro. This is not our struggle today to free 17,000,000 Negroes. It’s bigger than that. We are seeking to free the soul of America. Segregation debilitates the white man as well as the Negro. We are to free all men, all races and all groups. This is our responsibility and this is our challenge, and we look to this great new state in our Union as the example and as the inspiration. As we move on in this realm, let us move on with the faith that this problem can be solved, and that it will be solved, believing firmly that all reality hinges on moral foundations, and we are struggling for what is right, and we are destined to win. We have come a long, long way. We have a long, long way to go. I close, if you will permit me, by quoting the words of an old Negro slave preacher. He didn’t quite have his grammar right, but he uttered some words in the form of a prayer with great symbolic profundity and these are the works he said: ‘Lord, we ain’t what we want to be; we ain’t what we ought to be; we ain’t what we gonna be, but thank God, we ain’t what we was.’ Thank you.” At the conclusion of his address, there was much applause. Source: All Hawaii News

  • Ancient Skulls from Vanuatu shed light on Polynesian migration

    Ancient Skulls from Vanuatu shed light on Polynesian migration

    Scientists studying skulls found at a 3,000-year-old cemetery in Vanuatu say they may have unlocked a vital clue to the origins of Polynesian people. Professor Matthew Spriggs, from the Australian National University's (ANU) school of archaeology and anthropology, is part of a team that in 2004 discovered the oldest known cemetery in the South Pacific, at Teouma, just outside the capital of Port Vila. The excavation took place over several years, between 2004 and 2010. But the team's painstaking work proved well worth their time. PHOTO Matthew Spriggs (far right) with most of the Teouma dig team in the 2006 season. SUPPLIED: MATTHEW SPRIGGS During the excavation they found about 68 graves, although curiously only seven heads. "The heads were removed as part of burial rituals and were taken away and put elsewhere," Professor Spriggs told 666 ABC Canberra. "But luckily for us, some of them were brought back in the cemetery and put on the chests of other bodies, or between their legs, or in pots sitting on top of other bodies." These seven heads turned out to be very significant, Professor Spriggs said. According to the professor and his colleagues, their discovery helps show that the Polynesians migrated from South-East Asia through Melanesia and into Polynesia, with little or no mixing in the early generations with the Melanesian populations of Papua New Guinea and the Solomons that had been in the region for the previous 50,000 or so years. Cemetery held first people of Vanuatu PHOTO Fidel Yoringmal, the project's artist who has since passed away, drawing a Teouma skeleton. SUPPLIED: MATTHEW SPRIGGS Professor Spriggs said the cemetery was proved be about 3,000 years old and related to the first known culture in Vanuatu and Polynesia, called the Lapita culture. "Before 3,000 years ago - although people had been in Australia, New Guinea and the Solomons for maybe 50,000 years or so - they hadn't got out beyond into islands like Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia, and out into the further reaches of the Pacific," he said. "So this was exciting, because it was the first generations of people into Vanuatu." In a paper co-authored with other researchers from ANU and the French National Centre for Scientific Research, Professor Spriggs explained that the origin of Polynesian people had puzzled scientists since the first explorers' voyages of the 16th century. "You've got this problem," he said. "You've got South-East Asia and then you've got Melanesia in the middle with darker skinned people of different appearance, and then you've got Polynesians in the east." It has long been established that the Polynesians, who share similar physical features to people from South-East Asia, migrated from Asia. What is not clear is the route they took. "You have to get Polynesians out of Asia somehow," Professor Spriggs said. "You've got some people who have them going up through the north and coming down through north America, and then coming that way, from the Americas. PHOTO Teouma in Vanuatu from the air - the cemetery dig site is under the tent to the bottom left. SUPPLIED: STUART BEDFORD "Others had them coming by various routes, either from the north through Micronesia or perhaps coming later or earlier. "What we're able to show is that in fact, for places like Vanuatu and New Caledonia and Fiji, they do arrive before there's anybody else here." Professor Spriggs said the other major research finding was that not long after the arrival of the Polynesians in places like Vanuatu, Melanesians from further west began to arrive. "People in the New Guinea and Solomons area also jumping on these Lapita canoes and getting excited by the culture and travelling to new parts," he said. "Over time, and this is just over the first couple of hundreds of years in Vanuatu, the appearance of people changes from looking like Polynesians people look today, to looking like Melanesian people today." Skulls help prove migration via Melanesia As part their research, Professor Spriggs' colleagues in Europe compared the seven skulls found in the Teouma cemetery with examples of skeletons from Melanesia and Polynesia. PHOTO Experts Fidel Yoringmal and Frederique Valentin at the Teouma cemetery dig in Vanuatu. SUPPLIED: MATTHEW SPRIGGS "We work with specialist biological anthropologists ... they're the ones who've been doing all the measurement on what skulls we do have to compare ... in a forensic way, with modern populations today," he said. "What we found, which was a surprise for a lot of people, was that these first people in Vanuatu were Polynesian. Whereas today if you come to Vanuatu, the people are obviously generally of Melanesian appearance. Darker skinned, and not as tall as Polynesians would be. These [the people buried in cemetery] were very tall Polynesians." The skulls found at Teouma were similar in appearance and measurements to present day Polynesian and Asian populations. Professor Spriggs said this provided evidence that Polynesia was populated by people who came from Asia via Vanuatu. The next step is to examine DNA from the Teouma skeletons. "We're really working very hard on this at the moment ... we think we can. We're working on it with a team from Europe," Professor Spriggs said. He said DNA analysis could help confirm or discount the team's conclusions about the Teouma skeletons. "Or it could even narrow it down to where in South-East Asia these ancestors of the Polynesians, and these ancestors of the people in Vanuatu came from," he said. Source: ABC News

  • Star Wars and the Fiji Connection: Redux

    Star Wars and the Fiji Connection: Redux

    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? By Sean Mallon  Fijian weapons had a small role in the imaginings for one of the most successful science fiction films of all time….George Lucas’s Star Wars (1977). I posted about this previously several years ago, but with the opening of The Force Awakens, I thought the blogpost deserved a re-release. Gaffi stick TCG by Hustak from Wookieepedia.com In the 1970’s, a weapon known as a totokia was the inspiration for Star Wars prop designers who developed the gaderffii or gaffi stick, a weapon used by the Tusken Raiders on Tatooine, one of the planets in George Lucas’s invented galaxy. The handle of the gaffi stick incorporated a full length totokia and other versions incorporated other forms of long handled Fijian clubs. Portrait of a Fijian Chief, 1906, by Leslie Hinge. Te Papa (B.002800) In Fiji during the 1800s, totokia were weapons often associated with chiefs and warriors of reputation. Fiji material culture scholar Fergus Clunie describes it as a beaked battlehammer, “…the totokia was intended to “peck” holes in skulls.” The weight of the head of the club was concentrated in the point of the beak of the weapon or kedi-toki (toki” to peck; i toki: a bird’s beak). The totokia “…delivered a deadly blow in an abrupt but vicious stab, not requiring the wide swinging arc demanded by the others.” It was a club that could be used in open warfare or to finish-off or execute warriors on the battlefield. Totokia (club), Fiji, maker unknown. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. Te Papa (OL000130.S/1) Te Papa has several examples of Fijian totokia from the 1800s in its collections.They are usually carved from a beautiful dark timber and are often decorated with detailed carvings. Some examples are inset with human teeth or small pieces of whale ivory. Totokia (club), 1800s, Fiji, maker unknown. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (OL000130.S/5)   Totokia (club), 1800s, Fiji, maker unknown. Oldman Collection. Gift of the New Zealand Government, 1992. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (OL000130.S/5) European collectors often referred to totokia as pineapple clubs because of their distinctive shape. Other commentators have said that the business end of the club more closely resembles the pandanus fruit. Pandanus_utilis_fruit. Photograph B.Navez A few bloggers have picked up on the connection between the gaffi-stick and the totokia over the last few years, and it has been well known in the Star Wars geekscape for quite a while. There are even websites with instructions on how to build your own gaffi-stick and the costumes of the Tusken Raiders. One dedicated fan has developed a “Fijian Totokia war clubs” kit for people to purchase. The totokia in Te Papa offer an intriguing glimpse into indigenous warfare in Fiji but also the skill and creativity of local carvers. What would these carvers of the 1800s make of the Star Wars connection today? Pop! Star Wars “Tusken Raider vinyl bobble head” with totokia, Fiji. The gaffi stick links Check out Wookieepedia: Check out gaderffii Make your own:  Sources referenced: Clunie, Fergus, Fijian Weapons and Warfare. Bulletin of The Fiji Museum, No. 2.Suva, 1977. Clunie, Fergus, Yalo i Viti. A Fiji Museum Catalogue. Fiji Museum. Suva, 1986. Source: Te Papa

  • Easter Island secrets uncovered

    Easter Island secrets uncovered

    A new series of photographs from a 2012 excavation on Easter Island (Rapanui) have emerged showing previously hidden bodies and intricate patterns adorning the Moai statues. The images have been shared far and wide on social media, being viewed more than 1 million times on Imgur. They show detailed markings such as crescents, which academics say represent the canoes of the early Polynesians who had settled on the island, the UK’s Mirror reports. There are 887 huge statues carved between AD 100 and 1800, most of which are up to 10 metres tall. The Easter Island Statue Project have been excavating the statues for years, and provided the first photos of their torsos in 2012.  “The reason people think they are (only) heads is there are about 150 statues buried up to the shoulders on the slope of a volcano, and these are the most famous, most beautiful and most photographed of all the Easter Island statues,” Jo Anne Van Tilburg from the Easter Island Statue Project said. The first pictures of the statues showing their full size were taken in 1919 by the Mana Expedition - this was later confirmed by the explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his Norwegian Archeological Expedition in 1955. This confirms previous claims that the island was first settled by Polynesian people as part of the great wave of Pacific colonisation. Still, not much is known about the true origins of the statues and how they were made - but this new find puts us one step closer to finding the truth about it's inhabitants and the beautiful stone monoliths they left behind.

  • Tongan site dates oldest in Polynesia

    Tongan site dates oldest in Polynesia

    A small fishing village established 2900 years ago in Tonga has been confirmed as the first settlement in Polynesia. Source: Stuff Using pottery shards, archaeologist David Burley says they have confirmed Nukuleka, just east of Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, is Polynesia's birthplace. The confirmation comes as something of a blow for Samoa which has advertised itself for decades as the "cradle of Polynesia". Fiji's Sigatoka dunes have also made claims to be Polynesia's birthplace but they appear now to be several centuries younger. Archaeologists have focused on Nukuleka for the past five years following the discovery of rich pickings of Lapita pottery. A distinctive type of pottery, named for the site in New Caledonia where it was first found, was carried through Melanesia and into the Pacific by a mysterious group of people who eventually became the first Polynesians. Professor Burley, of Simon Fraser University in Canada, told Matangi Tonga website that a final excavation last year had nailed Nukuleka's position as Polynesia's first. The pottery was 2900 years old. "Tonga was the first group of islands in Polynesia to be settled by the Lapita people about 3000 years ago, and Nukuleka was their first settlement in Tonga," he said. The site for the village, at the mouth of the Fanga'uta lagoon, was ideal. "They came here first about 3000 years ago when the lagoon sea level was higher than today. "There were no mangroves, so the lagoon shore was a big beach, and the lagoon was full of shellfish, and everything that we have dug up was packed with layers of shellfish." The area was rich in shells and researchers found that the people were eating lots of turtles and birds, he said. "What we are trying to prove is that this is the first site in Tonga, and everything that we have found verifies that," he said. Within a century of establishing Nukuleka the first Polynesians had settled the whole of Tonga. "Then a thousand years later they moved eastwards to eastern Polynesia."

  • Historic Hawaiian Cloak & Helmet returned to rightful owners

    Historic Hawaiian Cloak & Helmet returned to rightful owners

    After 237 years travelling the world, Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s ‘ahuʻula (feathered cloak) and mahiole (feathered helmet) finally made their way back to Hawai'i in 2016. In 1779, Kalaniʻōpuʻu, aliʻi nui of Hawaiʻi Island, greeted Capt. James Cook in Kealakekua Bay and draped his treasured ʻahu ʻula over the newcomer’s shoulders as a gesture of goodwill.  He also gave a number of other cloaks and a feather helmet.  But these happy beginnings soon turned sour when Cook's men killed one of Kalani'opu'u's people.  Captain Cook was killed in retaliation. Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s feathered cape and mahiole sailed back to Europe with Cook’s crew, and ultimately ended up at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. An unprecedented partnership between the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Bishop Museum and Te Papa with support from Hawaiian Airlines enabled the return of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s priceless garments. In March 2016, a delegation from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Bishop Museum and Hawaiian Airlines traveled to Aotearoa to engage in protocol and return the ʻahuʻula and mahiole to Hawaiʻi. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs documented this awe-inspiring journey in the film, “Nā Hulu Lehua: The Royal Cloak and Helmet of Kalaniʻōpuʻu.”  (Shown above)  The 25-minute documentary shares the significance of high chief Kalaniʻōpuʻu, his mea kapu and the incredible partnerships that made their historic return home possible. Here are 5 things you need to know about these historic artifacts 1. According to expert scholar Adrienne Kaeppler’s publication Hawaiian Featherwork (2010), Kalani‘ōpu‘u’s cloak seemed to have started as a cape. The design has two red triangles (huinakolu) at the neckline and a red crescent (hoaka) which formed a sacred, protective design; the resulting yellow triangles and a yellow strip at the bottom complete the original cape. The use of so many yellow feathers demonstrates the political power of Kalani‘ōpu‘u. 2. This ‘ahu ‘ula in particular has feathers from about 20,000 birds. Skilled trappers caught the birds by employing various techniques such as snaring their prey midair with nets, or using decoy birds to lure them onto branches coated with a sticky substance. They often harvested only a few feathers from each bird before releasing them back into the wild so they could produce more feathers. Skilled workers belonging to the aliʻi class crafted the olonā cordage backing, a netting used as the foundation for the cloak, onto which the bundles of feathers were attached, creating bold designs. 3. The cloak has traveled to Hawai‘i twice without the mahiole: Mayday in 1960 and during the exhibition celebrating the 100 Anniversary of Captain Cook and his artificial Curiosities, Jan 18 through July 31, 1978. However, this was the first time in 237 years that both the cloak and helmet went back home to Hawai'i together. 4. From a historical perspective, the artifacts represent a period in the timeline of Hawai‘i when there was a balance between the cultural, political and spiritual parts of Native Hawaiians and the environment. 5. The exhibit space at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum where it now lives is called ‘He Nae Ākea: Bound Together.’ This reflects the connection of Kalani‘ōpu‘u to his land and people, the connection between the peoples, nations, and cultures throughout the centuries who have cared for these treasures, as well as the connection between the three institutions directly involved in this loan.

  • Incredible Hawaiian Women in History

    Incredible Hawaiian Women in History

    These influential wāhine and their achievements in Hawaii's history paved the way for all Hawaiian women, as well as women around the Pacific! Source: Hawaii Magazine 1. Queen Emma Photo: Wikipedia In 1859, Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaʻamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea Rooke established Queen's Hospital to save the rapidly declining Native Hawaiian population, providing free services to those suffering from foreign-introduced illnesses like smallpox and influenza. In 1867, she founded The St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls. Her talents extended into music as a vocalist, pianist and dancer and regarded for her skills as an equestrian. 2. Kaʻahumanu  Photo: Wikipedia Kaʻahumanu, arguably the most influential woman in the course of Hawaiian history, was considered to be the most powerful woman in Hawaiian society as Kamehameha’s trusted adviser. She wielded her political power as his favorite wife and the kingdom's first kuhina nui (similar to a prime minister) to campaign for the rights of Native Hawaiian women. Under her counsel she staged a turning point in Hawaiian society: convincing the young King Kamehameha II to publicly eat at the same table with women (a major taboo), which in turn abolished the ancient kapu system that prohibited women from engaging in the same activities once only reserved for men.  3. Isabella Aiona Abbott  Photo: University of Hawaii An ethnobotanist from Hāna on Maui, Isabella Kauakea Yau Yung Aiona Abbott became the first Native Hawaiian woman to receive a PhD in science. Of mixed Chinese and Hawaiian ancestry, Abbott learned about limu (Hawaiian algae) from her Hawaiian mother, setting the foundation for what would make her the leading expert on Pacific algae according to the academic record. She’s credited for discovering over 200 species, including a family of the Rhodomelaceae (red algae) family, a genus of which is named Abbottella, after her work in the field. In her career she wrote eight books, applying her native knowledge to author one on marine algae of California’s Monterey Peninsula, and more than 150 publications. 4. Rell Sunn Photo: Encyclopedia of Surfing/Jim Russi Known as the Queen of Mākaha, Rell Kapoliokaʻehukai Sunn was a world surfing champion and pioneer for women in the sport. With her cool and composed riding style, she shaped unity in the surf community by establishing a pro women's competitive surfing circuit for her peers and future generations. In 1975, she became Hawaiiʻs first female lifeguard presiding over her favorite beach on the North Shore. Sunn, affectionately called Aunty Rell, is also remembered for her long courageous battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 1983 and given only a year to live. She overcame that prognosis by 15 years. She surfed every single day. 5. Patsy T. Mink Photo: U.S. Congress The first woman of color and the first Asian American elected to Congress, Patsy Takemoto Mink was a trailblazer in both local and national U.S. politics. With an impassioned nationally-televised speech she gave at the 1960 Democratic National Convention to 10,000 people, Mink is credited for persuading two-thirds of the Democratic party to continue their progressive stance on Civil Rights Issue, notably opposing motions to delete provisions such as a deadline to desegregate schools by 1963 and to make the Civil Rights Commission a permanent agency from the party's official platform. She also authored Title IX, a law which bans gender discrimination among federally-funded education programs.. In 1972, she also became the first Asian American woman to seek the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.  6. Brook Lee Photo: Miss Universe Pageant Brook Mahealani Lee is the first Hawaiian, indigenous person and Asian American to win the Miss Universe crown. Her final competition answer during the Q&A portion is remembered for being one of the most memorable in beauty pageant history, responding that if she could do anything for a day without being confined to rules: “I would eat everything in the world.” 7. Aloha Dalire Dalire Kaneohe, known as Aloha Dalire, was named the first Miss Aloha Hula, then known as Miss Hula, at the inaugural Merrie Monarch Festival in 1971. The title is considered hula’s top solo wahine honor; each year at the festival held in Hilo, the best female hula dancers in the world compete for the prestigious award which crowns one as the most distinguished in the art form and cultural practice. She went on to become a prominent kumu hula (hula teacher). Her halau, Keolalaulani Halau ‘Olapa O Laka, competed at Merrie Monarch under her direct teachings for more than 40 years. Dalire was always a cause of excitement for the festival, many watching in anticipation to see what she’d bring to the kahiko(traditional) and ʻauna (modern) dance categories. She passed away at 64 in 2014, but her legacy lives on through her aloha spirit and lessons. 8. Michelle Wie Photo: Michelle Wie From Honolulu, Michelle Wie is the youngest winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public LInks and the youngest to qualify for a LPGA Tour event. She turned a professional player at just 16 years old winning many high-profile and national endorsements. In 2014, she won her first major at the U.S. Women’s Open. 9. Jean King Photo: Mari Matsuda/Twitter Jean Sadako King was the first woman elected to be lieutenant governor of Hawaii from 1978 to 1982. She was considered a true pioneer for her achievements and as an advocate for affordable housing and the environment, particularly preserving Hawaii’s natural resources with the State Sunshine Law and the Shoreline Protection Act. She inspired many young women aspiring to work in politics with her public service. 10. Bernice Pauahi Bishop Photo: Kamehameha Schools Archives Princess Pauahi is one of Hawaii’s most important philanthropists. As an aliʻi(royal)—the last descendant of the Kamehameha line—she held the largest private landownership in the Islands, owning approximately 9% of Hawaii’s total acreage across the island chain. During her lifetime she saw the Native Hawaiian population dwindle from 124,000 to 44,000. Concerned for her people she focused her entire estate towards education. In 1887, as designated by her will, she established the Kamehameha Schools to bring educational opportunities to preserve, improve and perpetuate the well-being of future generations of Native Hawaiians, academically and culturally. Today her estate is worth about $11 billion.  11. Natasha Kanani Janine Kai Source: Instagram From Kahuku, Oahu, this professional soccer forward is also an Olympic gold medalist with a record-setting career. In the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Kai became the first soccer player to be named both Freshman and Player of the Year in the same season. With 446 career shots, she also holds that career record and is second in goals (72) and points (162). Kai is also a role model for the LGBT community as an open lesbian in the sport (one of only three openly gay members on the 2008 USA Olympic Team). 12. Mazie Hirono Photo: U.S. Congress In 2013, Mazie Hirono became the first woman senator from Hawaii and the first Asian-American woman in the U.S. Senate, and currently the only person of Asian ancestry in the Senate currently. She’s the nation’s first Buddhist elected also. When she first immigrated with her family to Hawaii from Japan at the age of 7, she couldn’t read or speak English, and today serves on many committees championing women’s reproductive rights. 13. Alice Ball Photo: Wikipedia Born in Seattle in 1892, Alice Augusta Ball became both the first African-American and the first woman to graduate with a Master of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Hawaii in 1915. That year, she also became the first woman to teach chemistry at the school. In her research project at UH, Ball developed what was the most effective method of treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) at the time. Her research was used as the basis for treating many patients at Kalaupapa, the community and colony on Molokai where those afflicted with the disease were quarantined. At just 24 years old, Ball suddenly passed away. While officially unknown, researchers suggest Ball’s tireless efforts investigating the properties of chaulmoogra oil to produce the treatment became a cause of exhaustion and could’ve attributed to her death. 14. Queen Liliʻuokalani Photo: Hawaii State Archives Liliʻuokalani was the last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii. Upon taking the throne she wrote a new constitution that would restore veto power to the monarchy and enable economically disenfranchised Native Hawaiians and Asians to have voting rights and a voice in the political process. That constitution never became the law of the land as she was illegally overthrown by American and European businessman, supported by the U.S. military, who were threatened by these new governing views of the Queen. Imprisoned in her own palace, where she was locked away to its second-floor for nearly a year, Liliʻuokalani wrote her memoirs and composed mele (songs) such as “The Queen’s Prayer” and “Aloha ʻOe,” regarded famously today as a lament for the loss of Hawaiʻi nation. As a lone woman in the face this forceful removal from her rightful rule, she’s remembered for her resilience, belief in peaceful resistance and her attempts to re-empower the people of Hawaii over corporate interests. Throne-less, she continued to fight for the restoration of the Hawaiian Kingdom and revered by her people until her death in 1917. She was 79.

  • Melanesians found to have the most diverse ancient Human DNA

    Melanesians found to have the most diverse ancient Human DNA

    Melanesians retain both Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry in their genes, according to new research that finds they are about 2 percent Neanderthal and between 3-4 percent Denisovan. Source: Discovery This means that Melanesians — people native to Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, West Papua and the Maluku Islands — have the highest degree of archaic human ancestry ever documented. Neanderthals and Denisovans went extinct several thousand years ago, so the family roots of Melanesians go incredibly deep. The discovery, reported in the journal Science, adds to the growing body of evidence that all humans alive today are basically hybrids. “I think there is no such thing as a purebred modern human,” senior author Joshua Akey of the University of Washington’s Department of Genome Science told Discovery News. “All of our genomes are a mosaic of different ancestries, and admixture is a recurring theme throughout human evolutionary history.” For the study, Akey and his team analyzed the genomes of 1,523 individuals from around the world, including 35 Melanesians. They confirmed prior findings that all non-African people inherited roughly 1.5 to 4 percent of their genomes from Neanderthals. Melanesians, however, were the only population that also had significant Denisovan ancestry. Such seemingly small percentages are misleading, because the researchers also found strong evidence that recurrent natural selection against archaic DNA sequences happened as the various human groups interbred. As a result, today’s Neanderthal and Denisovan heritage percentages likely don’t reflect the true amount of interbreeding that took place. Ancient Human With 10 Percent Neanderthal Genes Found As Akey said, “Our data suggests matings with archaic individuals may be more prevalent than currently thought.” The regions of the modern human genome that appear particularly depleted of archaic sequences are those that play a role in speech and language development, suggesting that these skills could have set modern humans apart from Neanderthals and Denisovans. Anne Stone, a professor and director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research at Arizona State University, points out that regions of our genome that are less likely to contain archaic DNA are those areas that “encode important adaptations for modern humans, i.e. what makes us modern human, while those that contain more archaic DNA may represent regions where archaic adaptations were advantageous.” Based on earlier research, such advantages might have included changes to immunity, hair and skin to better match the needs of out-of-Africa environments. Neanderthal-Human Sex Happened Earlier Akey and his team also mapped out the genetic flow of the Neanderthal and Denisovan sequences and found that Neanderthal gene flow (admixture) with modern human DNA occurred at least three distinct times in modern human history. The researchers only found evidence for one such admixture event with Denisovans. Anthropologists are not entirely sure where and how the fateful matings between modern humans migrating out of Africa and Neanderthals and Denisovans took place. Akey, however, said that he and his colleagues “can order the times of distinct admixture events, including admixture that occurred in all non-African populations shortly after the out-of-Africa dispersal; another pulse of admixture that occurred in the ancestors of Europeans and East Asians after they diverged from Melanesians; and a third pulse of admixture with the ancestors of present day East Asians after they diverged from Europeans.” He suspects that modern humans mated with Denisovans in Southeast Asia before some of those individuals traveled to Melanesia. Got Allergies? Blame Neanderthals Kirk Lohmueller, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, commented that the new research “is significant because it shows that there were multiple waves of admixture between modern human populations and archaic hominids.” Information about interbreeding that took place in Africa is forthcoming; Akey and his colleagues are working on that research now.

  • Aggie Greys

    Aggie Greys

    Take a look back at the iconic Aggie Greys hotel in Apia, as it launches as a Sheraton today! Aggie Grey, the original 'Bloody Mary' from the South Pacific movie of years ago, started a Pacific legacy in Samoa; and now her grandson is expanding that legacy into Tahiti.

  • Samoans Obesity Gene Helped them take over the Pacific

    Samoans Obesity Gene Helped them take over the Pacific

    Recent genetic studies at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered a gene variant which increases the risk of obesity by up to 30-40%, appears in a quarter of all Samoans! Other factors including diet, exercise, access to processed food with high calories & an inactive lifestyle compared to Samoan's ancestors, have over the years also contributed to higher rates of obesity among Samoan communities. New Scientist reported that the team found the gene variant "caused the cells to store more fat and release less energy, as if they are trying to conserve as much fuel as possible" which would have given Samoans an advantage when they ran out of food but then lead to obesity when there was a surplus of food. So why is there a quarter of all Samoans with this gene and yet there is almost no trace of it in Europeans or African populations and very low levels of the gene in East Asians? George Dvorsky says "it has to do with their history of colonising the South Pacific Islands".  The gene variant would have evolved over time as Samoans went through the gruelling process of occupying 24 of the major island groups of Polynesia and then working the land so they could settle and live there.  The team said Samoans 'had to endure voyages between islands and subsequently survive on those islands,” - basically the gene helped them take over the Pacific! The problem now though is that Samoans no longer need the gene - diets have changed with access to western processed food - KFC, takeaways & soft drinks are now included at family to'ona'is and Samoans are no longer taking long voyages across the ocean to conquer new islands or having to work the land like their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.  Many Samoans now lead a more sedentary lifestyle with many working office jobs with little physical activity required. However, one positive is that the team have found no association between the gene variant and diabetes.  A professor from the University of Queensland, Australia says “People with the gene are heavier, so perhaps their risk of disease is not increased, but everybody needs to strive for a healthy lifestyle – people with this gene aren’t special in this respect”      

  • Hawaiian Cowboys - The Little Known History of Paniolo

    Hawaiian Cowboys - The Little Known History of Paniolo

    Picture Hawaii. What do you see? Surf, sun, sand and... Cowboys? It might be hard to believe, but the history of cattle ranching and Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) stretches back centuries. It could be argued the cattle that graze the rolling and lush patures of northerly Waimea, are among the happiest in the world. With sea views and food in plentiful supply, it's easy to see why. But in 1793 it was on an entirely different landscape. Across rough lava and up the hot and steep arid mountain trails of south Kona is where the beasts first made a rough and tumble debut. Navigator George Vancouver landed the Kingdom of Hawaii’s first cows in Kealakekua, a gift to King Kamehameha I in 1793. As more arrived and those creatures multiplied, they ignited an industry that came decades before the great cattle ranching boom of the American West. Kona’s piece of that history is now the focus of an exhibit in the Smithsonian-affiliated Kona Historical Society’s H.N. Greenwell General Store Museum. The installment of original artifacts, photos, diary entries and tax ledgers will be on show until July 30.  “Kona’s story is a little known one,” says Joy Holland, executive director of KHS, “but it’s an important one nonetheless.” Some of the items on show include black and white photos depicting cows—herded by horses and paniolo of Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese ancestry—swimming in the sea to the ships that would take them to Honolulu and beyond before area docks were installed. Physical artifacts are also on display, such as branding irons from the different ranching families that made a living in Kona after an early kapu (prohibition) on taking cattle was lifted. A set of massive long horns suggests that Hawaii’s cattle perhaps weren’t the same mild mannered mooers of present day. Mina Elison, Kona Historical Society’s curator and great granddaughter of famous Hawaiian-Chinese paniolo Willie Thompson, explained the significance of one of the treasures: A map showing the location of the Pa Nui, the Great Walled Lot. This rock wall enclosure once stretched 480 acres with walls reaching eight feet; it was an engineering feat for the time and Hawaii’s first cattle corral. Playing the important role of keeping the cattle contained. Prior to the corral’s construction, Archibald Menzies, a ship’s surgeon wrote this in his 1793 journal: “When they [cattle] landed they ran up and down the country in the wildest manner to the [sic] no small dread and terror of the natives, who fled from them with the utmost speed in every direction.” As time and nature eroded the Great Walled Lot, some of the massive beasts broke free, colonizing the entire Island and terrorizing Kona residents until the later Kuakini Wall was built to protect homes from the free ranging cows. In the 1830s, vaqueros (cowboy ranchers) from what is today the Monterey, California area were brought in to teach Kona residents how to wrangle their wild terrors into an industry. The exhibit lines the walls of the permanent antique shop displays within the historic H.N. Greenwell Store. The store is a holding of the Kona Historical Society.  “We are mindful that we are sharing the history of families that come from this community,” says Holland. “And, we hope to give visitors a clear-eyed view of what Hawaii is about by offering exhibits like this one.” Source: Hawai'i Magazine

  • How Ancient Humans Reached Remote South Pacific Islands

    How Ancient Humans Reached Remote South Pacific Islands

    Some 3,400 years ago, before the Iron Age or the rise of Ancient Greece, people on the Solomon Islands left their white sandy shores for the cerulean seas of the South Pacific. Their adventures brought humanity to the most remote reaches of Oceania, like the tropical islands of Hawaii, Tonga and Fiji. “The first ones were traveling into the unknown,” said Alvaro Montenegro, a geographer and climatologist from Ohio State University. “They would leave the coast, and it would disappear behind them.” Archaeological evidence suggests that after setting sail from the Solomon Islands, people crossed more than 2,000 miles of open ocean to colonize islands like Tonga and Samoa. But after 300 years of island hopping, they halted their expansion for 2,000 years more before continuing — a period known as the Long Pause that represents an intriguing puzzle for researchers of the cultures of the South Pacific. “Why is it that the people stopped for 2,000 years?” said Dr. Montenegro. “Clearly they were interested and capable. Why did they stop after having great success for a great time?” To answer these questions, Dr. Montenegro and his colleagues ran numerous voyage simulations and concluded that the Long Pause that delayed humans from reaching Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand occurred because the early explorers were unable to sail through the strong winds that surround Tonga and Samoa. They reported their results last week in the journal of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Our paper supports the idea that what people needed was boating technology or navigation technology that would allow them to move efficiently against the wind,” Dr. Montenegro said. Once they found a way to conquer the wind, the ancient people ended their 2,000-year hiatus, and over a period of a few hundred years colonized the rest of Oceania, such as the islands of Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand. Via the New York Times - read the full article here

  • MAVIS RIVERS

    MAVIS RIVERS

    This video was one of the 'Talking Portraits' created for ‘The Story of Auckland’ – as told at the Auckland Anniversary Weekend event which was held at Shed 10 in January last year. It features portraits from Auckland Libraries Heritage Images collection and actors produced by Inside Out Productions. This particular piece on Mavis Rivers - the Samoan Jazz vocalist who attained success in Hollywood - features our very own Pani aka Letti Chadwick.  

  • Aganu'u ma Measina a Samoa

    Aganu'u ma Measina a Samoa

    During the Aganu'u ma Measina Festival 2013 held in Apia Samoa, Mata'afa Elia Autagavaia made an imprressive and informative speech.  Mata'afa Elia Autagavaia takes us through the do's and dont's of how to participate in multiple traditional methods from performance to behaviour. In his speech he covers regulations and corrections around the Ma'ulu'ulu (Ladies dance), Sāsā (Rhythmic dance), Fa'ataupati (Male slap dance), even playing the part of the Fuataimi or how we should be singing a pese (song). Other cultural activities include dancing in the roles of Taupou, 'Aiuli, and most importantly, getting involved with Folafola Sua. Mata'afa Elia Autagavaia is a judge at these competitions. He is also a Samoan Teacher and a language and culture specialist at MESC

  • Kava Clubs and Black Fowls

    Kava Clubs and Black Fowls

    'Boy meets girl' happens all over the world, but in some cultures, a 'Black Fowl' or close friend is needed to move things along. In Tonga, the Black Fowl entertains the parents with a kava ceremony while the boy and girl have some time to get to know each other.  From TVNZ's Tales from Te Papa

  • Poetua - Tahitian Princess

    Poetua - Tahitian Princess

    Check out the stunning portrait of the Pacific's very own Mona Lisa. Painted in the 1770s by John Webber when she was taken captive by Captain Cook, Poetua was the daughter of the high-chief Oreo.  Webber accompanied Captain Cook on his third, 1776-1780, voyage to the Pacific, where the captain was welcomed back to Tahiti with open arms. Also on the voyage was another ship – the Discovery, captained by Lieutenant Charles Clerke – from which two crew deserted. As the story goes, to get the Tahitian chief to help with their return, Cook locked Princess Poetua, her brother and husband in Clerke's "great cabin" – and the deserters were returned in about three days. While the princess was imprisoned in Clerke's tiny cabin, Webber did smaller, now lost, oil paintings of her. On his return to England, for his European audience, the cramped confines of the tiny cabin-turned-cell were replaced with a lush tropical backdrop. Europeans had seen images of Pacific Island people, but none of females on this scale – at more than 1.65m high it was not only a massive painting but also changed the perception of how the Pacific was portrayed. "It was probably the first oil painting that showed the image of a South Pacific woman as an alluring beauty," In London, it was exhibited in the Royal Academy – at the time England's most prestigious gallery. Not long after, the painting disappeared, eventually turning up in the possession of the Tahitian Pomare dynasty. Te Papa acquired the artwork in 2010 for 2.04 million!

  • Wallis and Futuna

    Wallis and Futuna

    Check out this gorgeous dance from the beautiful islands of Wallis & Futuna! Wallis & Futuna - a French Island collectivity that lies halfway between Tonga, Tuvalu, Fiji and Samoa! This beautiful dance is performed by Tessa Felomaki (2003) of Hahake from the island of Wallis (Uvea).    

  • Kuo Hine 'E Hiapo - The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest Part 2

    Kuo Hine 'E Hiapo - The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest Part 2

    An amazing look into the work of Kautaha (Tongan Women's organisation) as they make one of the most important items in Tongan culture - the Ngatu Tonga. Made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree, the inner bark is beaten into fine sheets and painted using different designs, and after centuries of use, it has literally become the fabric of Tongan society.

  • Kau Fangota - Gleaners of the Sea Part 2

    Kau Fangota - Gleaners of the Sea Part 2

    Check out Part 2 of this extraordinary look at the kau fangota - the women gleaners of the sea. The women harvest all edible sea animals and plantsthat can be shared among their families or sold to the public. Depending on village resources, women become skilledin gathering specific foods.

  • Marshall Islands 1857

    Marshall Islands 1857

    The arrival of the white missionary on the Island of Ebon and on to the other  Islands of Marshall Islands in the year 1857. Check out some rare images on the history of the colonisation of the Marshall Islands.

  • Marshall Islands, Ebeye (Atolls) Part 2

    Marshall Islands, Ebeye (Atolls) Part 2

    Take a look into the American base situated in one of the most idyllic Pacific nations in the world - the Kwajalein Island just north of the equator in the western Pacific Foreign Correspondent gain rare access to a top-secret, Club Med style base in the vast Pacific which can 'see' everything that moves across a third of the globe and deep into space. But just across the lagoon lies a squalid third world.  As it happens nuclear testing, for real, had a long and tragic history only a few hundred kilometres from Kwajalein. Bikini Atoll was the site of a series of extraordinary atomic tests conducted by the United States in 1946.  But traditional landowners of Kwajalein Atoll say US compensation is inadequate and their people shouldn't have to continue to live in slums on the island of Ebeye, where 15,000 people are crammed into a narrow strip of coral and sand, smaller than a golf course. 

  • Samoa in 1971

    Samoa in 1971

    Take a walk down memory lane with this beautiful look at Samoa over 40 years ago! Compiled by Harry Lee with images captured by Dr. Roland Seib back in 1971, it is a gorgeous reminder of what Samoa looked like in the early 70s. Photos in this Video are: 01. Apia Harbour. 02. Department of Lands, Survey & Land Registry Office. 03. Immigration Office. 04. Old Fire Brigade & Old Bus Terminal. 05. Old Market (Makeki Kuai) 06. Tivoli Arcade & Retail Store. 07. Tivoli Theatre. 08. Forsgren Studio (Tau'ese). 09. Emelio Fabricius Store (Matafele). 10. S. V. MacKenzie (Matafele). 11. Bank of Western Samoa (Matafele). 12. Chief Post Office, Apia. 13. Burns Philp (South Sea) Co. Ltd. 14. Traffic Officers. 15. O. F. Nelson Wholesale Dept. 16. Burns Philp Cobra Store (Savalalo). 17. Maretana. 18. W.S.T.E.C. (Sogi). 19. Casino Hotel (Sogi).

  • Kau Faito'o - Traditional Healers of Tonga Part 2

    Kau Faito'o - Traditional Healers of Tonga Part 2

    In spite of Western influences and modern medicine, traditional Tongan healers, or Kau Faito'o, continue to play an integral part in every-day Tongan society. Check out how some of the healers continue to carry on their legacies as healers in the village, from helping women with their pre-natal care, as well as using natural ingredients to make homemade remedies and massage therapies.

  • Kau Faito'o - Traditional Healers of Tonga Part 1

    Kau Faito'o - Traditional Healers of Tonga Part 1

    In spite of Western influences and modern medicine, traditional Tongan healers, or Kau Faito'o, continue to play an integral part in every-day Tongan society. Check out how some of the healers continue to carry on their legacies as healers in the village, from helping women with their pre-natal care, as well as using natural ingredients to make homemade remedies and massage therapies.

  • Polynesian Panthers

    Polynesian Panthers

    Check out this look back at the Polynesian Panthers Movement that was inspired by the Black Panther movement in America! We check out some of the history behind how the movement started here in NZ, and how their pioneering work has helped pave the way for future generations.

  • Chief mourner's costume from the Society Islands

    Chief mourner's costume from the Society Islands

    Check out the intricate ceremonial costume worn by the Chief Mourner in the Society Islands, held at Te Papa in Wellington! In the Pacific it wasn't always appropriate to wear black to a funeral. Several hundred years ago the fashion was a frightening outfit made from precious pearl and black shell.

  • Qoli Wawa, Nukubalavu Village, Fiji

    Qoli Wawa, Nukubalavu Village, Fiji

    Check out what happens when a Fijian Paramount Chief passes on and the ancient rituals surrounding his funeral that are still practiced today. The ancient 100 Nights ceremony in Nukubalavu July 2015, honoring the passing of Paramount Chief Tui na Savusavu (Ratu Suliano Naulu) and the coronation of his son (Ratu Golea Naulu) as the new chief. Video courtesy of Gary Yost

  • Cyclone Ofa

    Cyclone Ofa

    Take a step back in time - all the way back to 1990 when Tropical Cyclone Ofa devasted the Pacific. Ofa first hit Tuvalu before moving on to Western Samoa and American Samoa, Tokelau, Niue and Tonga. The worst effects were recorded in Samoa, where seven people were killed. Roughly 200 people were evacuated, and 10 to 20 others were injured through the islands.

  • Harmonies & Gospel singing of Fiji

    Harmonies & Gospel singing of Fiji

    Check out some of the gorgeous sounds coming from Fiji every Sunday! Every Sunday, most Fijians are called to church with the lali (drum) and that quiet rhythm is an invitation for you to come along with us for 9 minutes of gospel wisdom. These are the people of Vivili village on the island of Vanua Levu. Video Credit: Gary Yost in association with Fiji Charity

  • A Journey through the South Seas - Outer Islands of Fiji (1960)

    A Journey through the South Seas - Outer Islands of Fiji (1960)

    Check out this awesome footage of acclaimed British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough as he visits the outer islands Fiji - back in 1960! Taking a look back in time at the unique cultural practices - including the unique calling of the Shark and Turtle on the island of Koro and Vanua Balavu fishing rituals! Source: BBC World

  • A Journey through the South Seas- Firewalkers of Fiji (1960)

    A Journey through the South Seas- Firewalkers of Fiji (1960)

    Check out this awesome footage of acclaimed British broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough as he visits Fiji - back in 1960! Taking a look back in time at the unique cultural practices of the brothers and sisters from the beautiful islands of Fiji!

  • The Cook Islands 1952

    The Cook Islands 1952

    Check out this awesome archive footage of life in the beautiful Cook Islands! Mostly shot around Rarotonga it features many places and customs including fishing and dancing. The film also shows how easy it is to get from New Zealand to the Cook Islands - even back then!