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Sunday 27th September – Saturday 3rd October 2020
Talofa! This week is Te Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week and to celebrate we will share Tuvalu collection materials from various departments of the Museum, we will light up the Museum with national flag colours of Tuvalu and we will hold a Zoom panel discussion based on plant materials from Tuvalu and their cultural as well as customary use and environmental significance.
Community Coordinator & Guest Kaiako Auckland Museum
This week is a time for all our Tuvaluan people in Aotearoa and the world over to celebrate and share our culture and language.
The Language Week theme for this year is: “Fakatili te kiloga fou / Navigating the changing environment”. The theme urges everyone to pay close attention to the environment and do the best that we can in order to be positive champions of our fragile environment.
I am excited to be working in partnership with Auckland Museum and the wider community online, and to be sharing more about Tuvalu collections and stories at the Museum. I am particularly excited about our Tuvalu language Zoom discussions based around plant materials and their cultural and customary use and environmental significance.
For Tuvalu Language Week, Te Vaiaso o te ‘Gana Tuvalu, Leone Samu (Associate Curator, Pacific) and Paula Legel (Associate Curator, Heritage Collections) take a closer look at a selection of books held in the Documentary Heritage collection of Tāmaki Paenga Hira that discuss food plants of Tuvalu — in particular, the giant atoll taro, pulaka; the taro, talo; and breadfruit, mei.
These plants will be discussed in a Zoom panel discussion, hosted by the Museum, during Tuvalu Language Week.
Image: From Plants of Tuvalu: a guide to indigenous and introduced plants of Tuvalu = Lakau mo mouku o Tuvalu; AWMM QK473.T88 THA
Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum held an online discussion session via Zoom on Wednesday 30th September 2020 at 7PM. The conversation highlights literature collection materials from our Documentary Heritage collection regarding three Tuvalu food plants, namely talo (Colocasia esculenta), pulaka (Cytosperma chamissonis) and mei/mai (Artocarpus altilis).
The three plant materials were discussed by a panel of Tuvalu knowledge-holders — Suamalie N T Iosefa Naisali, Vaito Keakea and Teuke Mapaga.
Background information about the literature was shared by Paula Legel and Leone Samu. The panellists and participants discussed exploring origins, oral traditions, planting and harvesting preparation & cooking as well as environmental issues around plant foods.
Currently the Chairman of the Reformed Christian Church of Tuvalu in New Zealand, Rev. Suamalie N T Iosefa Naisali has been a champion of particularly youth issues, politically and also religiously. In 2016 he was awarded an MBE for his services to the community.
Vaito Keakea is from Niutao, Tuvalu. He became a tautai (a local Master Fisherman) in 1970, and, since coming to New Zealand, is a member of the Niutai Community Trust and the Tuvalu Community Trust. He is also a carver and in 2019 demonstrated his canoe-carving skills as part of the Creative New Zealand Tuvalu Arts Festival.
Teuke Malaga is from the island of Vaitupu, Tuvalu. Having worked as a teacher and a nurse, she is a lifelong community advocate, an executive committee member at several organisations including the Pacific Mamas at Corbans Estate and Arts Centre, and acts as the face and voice of Tuvaluan women in these organisations.
Tuvalu is a small Pacific Island nation, but this list of Tuvaluan service personnel who served New Zealand in the First World Wars is a testament to their service. If you have any information about a Tuvaluan individual who served, please contact the Online Cenotaph team.
Image: Funafuti. From the album: Views in the Pacific Islands, 1886, Funafuti, by Thomas Andrew. Te Papa (O.037834)
In this video, Kelesoma Saloa discusses the importance of a selection of of objects from the Museum's collection with knowledge-holder Vaito Keakea in Tuvaluan.
From Sunday 27 September until Saturday 3 October, the Museum will be illuminated every evening in blue and yellow in recognition of Tuvalu Language Week.
Here are a few objects from the Museum's collection, selected by staff for their particular significance to Tuvaluan culture.
AWMM 1951.204.3, 32520.1
AWMM 1987.78, 52441
AWMM 1935.196, 21877, D31.1765
AWMM 1938.16, 23701.2
AWMM 1954.11.42, 33713
This prosptia alata specimen, known commonly in English as the haresfoot fern, was collected from Tuvalu.