The surprising and illuminating tools of trade and exchange that defined the era of Tupaia and the Endeavour
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum opened the exhibition Voyage to Aotearoa: Tupaia and the Endeavour to commemorate Tuia 250. Taonga selected from across the Museum's collections communicated themes, like trade and exchange, as a part of Tupaia’s role as navigator and translator for Cook and his crew. Including Tupaia’s perspectives in the exhibition sought to balance the Cook-centric narrative of the first encounter with tangata whenua on Aotearoa shores.
The display of trade beads, nails and matau (fish hook) presents the narrative of first contact trading between the Tahitians, tangata whenua and crew of the HMB Endeavour.
Image credit (above): Parkinson, Sydney. Various kinds of Instruments Utensils & of the Inhabitants of New Zealand with some ornaments of the People of Terra del Fuego of New Holland. A journal of a voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's ship, the Endeavour, 1773. Plate XXVI.