The Pacific Sisters collective, established in Auckland in 1992, asserts an urban transcultural identity using ceremony, art, adornment and performance. In the Activate!/Maranga! room ofTāmaki Herenga Waka: Stories of Auckland, the collective's three aitu/avatars inject a powerful presence. 

We are Pacific Sisters – fashion activists, mana wahine, Aotearoa rebels!

Just Remember – Don’t Forget

Born into the world are three new aitu (avatars), that embody the kaupapa (philosophy) of Pacific Sisters’ fashion activist works. Made by many hands, the collective has combined techniques and materials to adorn and bring life to the lyrics of three iconic waiata/pese/imene/songs sung by Sister Henry Ah-Foo Taripo.

While the three belong together, only one can be on display at a time. But look to the corners of the case and you’ll see three stones. These are mauri stones, placed by Pacific Sisters to hold their mana as a group intact, to empower the one that stands alone, and represents those who will not be forgotten. The three aitu encapsulate longstanding and fundamental messages that are important to Pacific Sisters; of protecting the environment, indigenous sovereignty, having freedom of self-expression and encouraging the best from humanity – to be your own superhero.

Layers of handmade natural and industrial *accessification adorn each aitu, and help to illustrate and express the concepts behind each waiata. Take your time and explore each aitu – download the song lyrics, play the track, and sing along.

* Pacific Sisters term for adorning with accessories to excess (“more is more”).

Currently on display
 

Mururoa
Pronouns: we/you/they

Protecting the environment

Mururoa

 

Mururoa protests the environmental destruction caused by French nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll between 1966 to 1996. The post-apocalyptic figure is a troubled protector of a world devastated by their own actions. The challenge: to stop the desecration of motu (lands), moana (oceans), and ultimately tagata (people).

Listen to the accompanying song, Moruroa, here
Learn about the titles and makers for each part of Mururoa here
Explore Mururoa on Collections Online here

Awaiting their turn to shine
 

SUPA SUGA
Pronouns: ia/she/her

Superhero

SUPA SUGA

Supa Suga is here to save the day using her powers to help us realise our full potential, encouraging the best from humanity to help make the world a better place. She believes in pono (honesty), manaakitanga (being kind and generous), and ataahuatanga (being supa-fabulous). She is courageous, confident, and colourful, is part Wonder Women and part Superman, and all girl power. Ultimately, Supa Suga encourages you to take responsibility for your own actions, so you may find your own super powers and be able to help others too.

Listen to the song, Te Tutau (Club Mix) here
Explore Supa Suga on Collections Online here

TOHU TūPUNA
Pronouns: ia/she/he/they/them

Indigenous sovereignty

TOHU TūPUNA

TOHU TūPUNA is the vessel for all our ancestors past, embodying female, male and gender fluid ways of being. They are a vā body creating a space where the genealogical matter comes together binding the past with the present, bringing the ancestral past into the NOW. TOHU TūPUNA is in charge of their own destiny, representing spiritual, cultural and sexual autonomy, placing indigenous sovereignty and knowledge firmly in the centre of our busy modern lives.

Listen to the song, Te Reo Tupuna, here
Explore TOHU TūPUNA on Collections Online here