E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.
I will never be lost for the seed was sown in Rangiātea.

The Ngā Kākano Wānanga series takes its name from this whakataukī. The series provides an opportunity for our whānau and wider audiences to attend wānanga held in the museum’s auditorium learning from respected Māori and Pacific leaders and experts, who share insights and expertise across Te Ao Māori and Te Moana Nui a Kiwa. 

While the inaugural Rotuman Language Week 2020 came at a time of necessary social distancing due to Covid-19, it meant an opportunity to take our Ngā Kākano Wānanga series into a digital realm. A special two-part Ngā Kākano Series focusing on Rotuma brings members of the Rotuman community together with Museum kaitiaki to showcase and celebrate Rotuman treasures from our collection.

Ngā Kākano Series, Rotuma talanoa – Part 1 

On 12 May 2020 we held the first of two Zoom talanoa highlighting three Rotuman treasures held in the Auckland War Memorial Museum Research Library Te Pātaka Mātāpuna. Entitled ‘Tēfakhanis ‘on tēmamfua - a talanoa on selected Rotuman Documentary Heritage Collections’, we were joined by panellists Fesaitu Solomone, Fekau (Reverend) George Apitko, Frank Samuela, Nataniela Amato-Ali, alongside Museum colleague Paula Legel (Associate Curator, Heritage Publications).

The panellists engaged in a rich discussion about provenance of the three treasures, the unique characteristics of the Rotuman language, as well as the influence of key missionaries in developing written forms of the Rotuman language over time. 

Ngā Kākano Series, Rotuma talanoa – Part 2 

Our second zoom talanoa of this special Rotuman-themed Ngā Kākano series was held on 14 May 2020, entitled ‘Fạiạv Ne Si’u - a talanoa on selected Rotuman treasures from the Pacific Collection’. Our panellists were Fesaitu Solomone, Sopapelu Samisoni, and Alfred Prasad alongside Museum colleague Fulimalo Pereira, our Curator Pacific at Auckland Museum.

Fuli Pereira shared some background information on the ethnographic collection of James Edge-Partington (1854 - 1930) which is held at Auckland Museum. The panellists discussed several Rotuman treasures counted among this collection including an apei or Rotuman fine mat first acquired by Edge Partington in the late 1800s which has been in the Museum collection since 1929. Once again we share our gratitude for our panellists who gave insights into the cultural significance of the apei, as well as bringing thought-provoking discussion around what the apei and other treasures mean to Rotumans today.