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Artist: Rowena Rooney

As part of the Pacific Collection Access Project, Fijian artist Rowena Rooney went into the vaults of Auckland Museum to view her ancestral iYau Vakaviti (treasures) to create a series of stunning pieces for our co-curated display case.

Masi Bolabola

Au a bulia na cakacaka ni liga iloilo oqo, ena noqu a raica edua na masi bolabola ni Cakaudrove. Na cakacaka ni liga oqo, e ivakaraitaki walega ni dua na tiki ni masi ka ono-na-mita na kena balavu.

I made this glasswork in response to the traditional masi bolabola (bark cloth) from Cakaudrove, Fiji. It depicts only one segment of a 6-metre masi.

Display technician, Chris Sheehan, puts the final touches on the tabua.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Tabua

‘A tabua, a ulu ni weimami iyau.’ Au a bulia na tabua qo ena qele ka sema kina na wa magimagi. Nai lavo ni Viti, na rua-sagavulu-na sede, e kunei kina na tabua. Nai naki ni cakacaka ni liga oqo me taroga se a dau vakayagataki na tabua ena veivoli ena gauna makawa. Na tabua e iyau cecere duadua ka dredre me veidutaitaki vata kei na ilavo ena gauna ni kua. Na taro eda na taroga: Eda sa vakalailaina beka li na bibi ni tabua ni da sa mai vakayagataka nai lavo ena gauna qo? Na cava na vuna e biu kina na tabua ena dua nai lavo lailai sara me vaka na rua-saga-vulu na sede?

‘The whale tooth is supreme among our valuables.’ I created this tabua or sperm whale tooth from clay and attached the coconut sennit braid. Fijian 20-cent coins carry the tabua on the front, and I tied them to the braid to question whether the tabua was ever used as a commodity in pre-colonial Fiji.

Artist Rowena Rooney and Collection Technican, Leone Samu, prepare the piece The Calling Domo ni Davui for display

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

The Calling Domo ni Davui

Na cakacaka ni liga oqo e vakaraitaka na kena dau uvu na davui ena gauna makawa kei na kenai naki taumada me soqovi ira vata mai na lewenivanua. Na kena o ni sarava tiko oqo, e kacivi kemuni vata mai ka me solia vei kemuni na veivakalougatataki ni o ni sarava tiko na veicakacaka ni liga era vakaraitaki tu oqo

This work depicts the blowing of the davui or conch shell, which initiates very important events and welcomes all. Here, this work welcomes viewers and surrounds them with sacred blessings while they are looking at the artefacts.


Rowena's artworks will be on display on level 2 until Ocotber 2017