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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Travel 'Te Papa' Museum, Wellington, New Zealand (image heavy)
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'Te Papa' Museum, Wellington, New Zealand (image heavy)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2008-07-16 01:56 am   Permalink

Kia ora. (after using the 'search' function like a good boy) I see Tiki-Kate posted pics of NZ Tikis from a visit a few years back, but am posting this specifically as a thread highlighting 'Te Papa Tongawera' Museum, located in New Zealands capitol city, Wellington (lower North Island). Please feel free to add pics or info.

The building itself is an amazing piece of architecture and the various interactive exhibits and top-end art showings are of world standard, but Ive kept the focus here to the Polynesian and Tiki related things that caught my eye. Im sure this will do no justice to the amazing experience that is 'Our Place' but really nothing short of visiting personally ever could.. Please see beyond my battles with artificial lighting, cabinets, glass, camera settings, lack of info, etc. In reality the museum is a wealth of infomation and highly organised, but almost overwhelming in its content. The random nature of my pics reflect the childlike wonder and excitement of my visit. Youve heard the expression 'like a kid in a sweetshop'..?

I recently visited the museum/gallery for the third time, the last being 5-6 years ago and never before with such a keen interest in Polynesian visual arts. Yes, the TC Ohana were there with me in spirit also & it was with you all in mind that I snapped the following, in no particular order.

I have deliberated about posting these pics, but then figured if punters are allowed to take pics then there's no harm in posting them here. For those who ever manage to visit, Im sure these will in no way lessen the experience and I also figure that it will benefit the many more of you who may never get the opportunity. Easy maths. Enjoy..


Contemporary Maori leadlight window:


Inside, stories of Maori life and custom can be heard:

"Oi mate, didnt you read the sign? No shoes":

Waka-huia (feather/treasure box):

This large model vaka can be viewed from an adjoining room, via a window that projects holographic images of voyaging Polynesians onto the vessel & tells the tales of the migrations:

The two following Tiki figures are details at the front of the vaka - couldnt get them to focus, spooky:

Marquesan club:

Tortoiseshell/shell breastplate pendant:

Tongan whalebone breastplate pendant:

Maori 'Tokotoko'/talking sticks:

Maori Chieftains 'Toki Poutangata' & pounamu 'mere':

Hei-tiki, matau, pekapeka:

Large toki/adzes:

Tekoteko figure:

Big guys (10 feet+), 'armless enough:


Another multi-media display - 'creation myths':

"Just leave me here to die" - pounamu boulder, large enough to make a hei-tiki for every TC member:

Rarotongan staff-God, business end:

Maori Waka prow:

Stilted 'pataka'/food storehouse:

'Pare'/door lintel:

Toki/adzeheads, partially reworked into hei-tiki:

A friend of mine, Hawaiian 'Palaoa' pendant:

Adzes, adornment & tattoo chisels:

Marq stone double-tiki + bone hair ornaments (thinking of you BK!)

Pounamu 'Mere'/short-clubs:

Marquesan warrior:

Maori 'Karetau'/animated marionette doll:

Large stone anchor. Reputedly from the migratory waka of 'Kupe' from Rarotonga (about 2' cube):

Unidentified borrowed child, blissfully ignorant of the significance of being asked to pose through 'Kupes' hole'. (nervous parents out of shot):

My hometown, the year of my birth. My stone?:


E.Island Moai-Kavakava + Tongan figure:

Maori 'matau'/fish hooks:

Several Maori 'greats' in one cabinet (as seen in many books) Re-Niho/peirced/split whaletooth pendant, old stone breastplate (sharks), kure/dog amulet, another archaic 'double-koru/hook' pendant, and a sexy-as toki/adze:

Assorted whackers and dongers:

Contemporary Wharenui, designed and production overseen by Cliff Whiting:


Phew! Hope you enjoyed the tour.



[ This Message was edited by: Tamapoutini 2008-07-16 01:57 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 22, 2006
Posts: 1886
From: Aotearoa / NZ
Posted: 2008-07-16 02:40 am   Permalink

Wicked! We ended up being very short of time on the day I visited, and I couldn't for the life of me find the Pacific collection. As it was, I only had time to visit the Wharenui and the Ngai Tahu exhibition anyway. Even more regrettably, I didn't take my camera, but you have made my day with this:

For me one of the highlights of the trip - from memory, found at Ellesmere (my old stomping ground), and possibly an eel club (how could they ever know...?)
For such an amazing transitional period / proto-Polynesian piece of art, I'm amazed this club is not pictured in any books, nor have I ever seen it on display in Canterbury Museum.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10397
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2008-07-16 03:05 am   Permalink

You Kidding? How could I enjoy that tour when you forgot to warn the need of DROOL Towels! YES I Enjoyed the tour immensely, more than you can imagine!
Thank you for taking the time to get such great photos and share them here. My head is still spinning. I think I'll be enjoying this tour for a LONG Time!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 10, 2007
Posts: 582
From: Northern Virginia
Posted: 2008-07-16 04:38 am   Permalink

WOW, Tama!! Great shots, that was definitely worth the wait. Lots of cool stuff in that museum.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 27, 2006
Posts: 1423
From: Meudon, France
Posted: 2008-07-16 10:17 am   Permalink

Wow, very nice tour ! Thanks for sharing those wonderful pix. WOW
I need to go back carving


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2006
Posts: 1769
From: las vegas
Posted: 2008-07-16 10:21 am   Permalink

simply amazing.

do you have a higher resolution photo of the fish hooks?
give of yourself. it's the most precious of all gifts.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2008-07-16 12:02 pm   Permalink

Wow. You covered that very well, Tama. I didn't get to spend as much time at Te Papa as I would have liked, but I was trying to cover all of the North Island in 11 days. Makes me long for Hell Pizza...

Here's a shot of the entrance. (It's a really big building.)

A few more tiki pics.

And the other reason I had to go to Te Papa, I'm still a total Split Enz fanatic.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 30, 2006
Posts: 1530
From: Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Posted: 2008-07-16 2:33 pm   Permalink

Carving Boys: I thought you might like the pics - (sorry no larger pics of the matau Perry)..

Tiki-Kate: Thanks so much for adding those pics; I was kicking myself for not taking any of the building itself but it was pouring with rain the day we visited. There are a few more rocks around the frontage now.
Im also a huge Split Enz fan - saw them twice as a teenager & the Crowded House lineup two or three times. All of those suits (+ many more) were designed by band member Noel Crombie btw.



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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 212
From: Aotearoa
Posted: 2008-07-17 5:09 pm   Permalink

coolest pics Tama - ty for sharing


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 26, 2008
Posts: 248
From: Otautahi , Te WahiPounamu
Posted: 2008-07-18 6:18 pm   Permalink

Top snapshots there Tama , what I could see of them .
This internet cafe computer here in Fox Glacier will only show the first few .... and then only sometimes .....
bugga !
I'll have to view them again sometime .
slainte ,

Jock from Fox

In the heart of my soul . I would that I had been born in Celtic lands
But I was born here . A Celt in Maori lands . And my heart is content

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 14, 2004
Posts: 4284
From: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 2008-07-22 04:22 am   Permalink

Wow, awesome! Thanks for going to the trouble with all the pics, much appreciated!

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hala bullhiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 26, 2002
Posts: 570
From: champaign,illinois
Posted: 2008-07-22 8:57 pm   Permalink

THAT just blew my mind.....wow

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 14, 2002
Posts: 1290
From: Bangkok
Posted: 2008-07-25 8:30 pm   Permalink

It is typical that the one country i felt i'd use my camera the most during this round the world trip, is the country with the extreme cold that killed my digital camera.

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little lost tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 7750
From: Orange,CA-right near the Circle!
Posted: 2008-08-07 08:42 am   Permalink

felt like i just had an entire museum downloaded into the brain!

www.kinnyruzic.com Art Blogs Wishes Fulfilled!
I'm on Facebook and now Instagram under Ken Ruzic
AW Jeah!

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Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 6161
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2009-02-27 8:45 pm   Permalink

OK...so I am like a year late to this thread and just now figuring out Taniwha is the little creature that gets all the attention in the carvings and paintings here. I have always been a Split Enz fan and love the "Dirty Creature" song. It is always amazing when I can put 2 and 2 together and come up with 5!!! Gheeez

Anyway was searching the net about Taniwha and here too. Those museum pictures are awesome. I was lucky to hook up with a group of friends a couple of years ago for a trip to New Zealand. One of the gals is married to a Kiwi...they both took a month off from their jobs and toured us around the North and South island...what a beautiful country. They live in Auckland and the museum there is so similar to the one pictured here. It brought back a lot of memories for me looking at these pictures. At the time I was not into Tiki so wasn't even aware how much that museum and the visit to the Rotorua Maori center would play a part in my life. My favorite place to visit there was the Agrodome
http://www.agrodome.co.nz/ the sheep show is so amazing and the dog part of it is hysterical. Has anyone here been to see that?

I would so love to go to NZ again and the wonderful Auckland Museum...it was awesome. http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/

I will be dreaming of Taniwha tonight.

[ This Message was edited by: VampiressRN 2009-02-27 21:12 ]

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