Ni Sa Bula Vinaka!

Sunday 2nd October – Saturday 8th October 2022 is Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti, Fijian Language Week.

To celebrate, we've brought together video interviews with Fijian artists, fascinating blogs, a gallery of Fijian items from our Natural History and Documentary Heritage collections, a colouring-in sheet, and more.

Header image: Davui (trumpet shell) with a small hole cut out to produce sound; AWMM 3998. Photographed by Jennifer Carol.

From Sunday 2 October until Saturday 8 October, the Museum will be illuminated every evening in red, white, yellow and blue in recognition of Fijian Language Week.

Join us for onsite celebrations

You're invited to join us for two free performances at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum

Celebrate Fiji Language Week

Celebrate Fiji Language Week

Join us on Saturday 8 October for Fiji Language Week, as the young performers of Te Mana Performing Arts (School of Fijian Language, Dance and Culture) celebrate their language! They will perform a sequence of short dances and songs, using the many legends that form part of the Fijian cultural heritage. 

At 12PM, enjoy an intimate performance surrounded by Fijian taonga in the Pacific Lifeways Gallery, followed by the main event in Te Ao Mārama South Atrium starting at 12.30PM.

Our young Fijian performers will take us on a metaphorical journey about the original settlement of the Fijian archipelago by their ancestors.

If you’re coming by the Museum this week, stop by our Library on level 2 to see our fascinating selection of Fiji books. For opening hours and visitation info click here.

Ngā Kākano 

The Ngā Kākano series invites respected Māori and Pasifika leaders and experts to share their unique experience, perspectives, expertise and insights at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum. 

The Ulumate Project

Bringing Back the Forgotten:

The Ulumate Project

How do you revitalise the making of an indigenous taonga where museums are the only place that you can see them today?

Bringing Back the Forgotten: The Ulumate Project  is based on an old Fijian practice of wig ceremonies over two centuries ago. Watch the recording of Na Tolu – The Three in talanoa as they share their work and research into the Ulumate Project at the Museum.


Our people

Learn how our Museum whānau celebrate their heritage in their work

Juliana Satchell-Deo

Associate Curator, Human History, Pacific

Juliana Satchell-Deo

As we move into Macawa ni vosa Vakaviti, Fiji Language Week, I want to celebrate the strength, courage and determination of the beautiful people of Fiji as they continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme for this year's Macawa ni vosa Vakaviti is Noqu Vosa, Ai Vakadei ni Noqu Tiko Vinaka; My language provides stability to my wellbeing. As I think of how language provides stability to an individual’s wellbeing I am drawn to the intersections of home, memory, identity and veilomani: "the act of loving one another".

Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders, I have not been able to return home and be with my family and this has impacted on my wellbeing. Fiji is home. Fiji is where I go to ground myself, recover and connect with language and place - it is my wellbeing. I miss Fiji. I miss the embrace of catching up with cousins in Nadi before the drive from Nadi to Suva. I miss stopping in Sigatoka for a break and then taking the Korotogo back road so I can see our old house and remember all our beautiful neighbours and friends. Throughout the drive I am surprised by all the changes along the way and yet I am in love with what remains unchanged. My heart would race as we approach Veisari, and I would remember swimming at Bamboo, and I knew we are so close to home. I miss the feeling of anticipation as we would reach Lami Town and then go up Nasevou Street - my eyes would fill with tears as my mother would hold me and I would miss my beloved father even more.

The time spent in Fiji would be a celebration of language and wellbeing and especially veilomani, the spaces would be filled with family and friends; with meaningful talanoa between my mother and sisters and all the vakaji from my brother.

I am so grateful for the Fiji family and friends we have in Aotearoa and how they convey veilomani through language and sharing spaces where all our wellbeing is nurtured.

I want to pray for all of Fiji as they move through this ongoing crisis and Loloma levu to all our Fijian families in Aotearoa. I wish you all a blessed Fiji Language Week. I hope you all celebrate the value of language and how it provides stability to your wellbeing.

Vinaka vaka levu sara.

Long reads

Have a moment to spare? Take a deep dive into some of our stories

The mystery of the masi broadsheets

The mystery of the masi broadsheets

Manufactured from bark-cloth (masi) and carefully fringed at the edges, two issues of the Fiji Times dating to 1908 and 1909 presented more questions than answers when they first arrived at the Museum. 

Newspapers across the Pacific have never been printed on barkcloth, so what led to these particular papers being printed on such a material?

Read blog

Travelling on the Matua

Travelling on the Matua

In a corner of the new Tāmaki Herenga Waka exhibition is a case and interactive with stories and objects relating to the TSMV Matua.

One of the stories is told by Melanie Rands (pictured) about her father, Keva Low, who arrived in Auckland onboard the Matua on April 21st 1946.

In this blog, Dr Andrea Low, Associate Curator, Contemporary World recounts Keva's journey.

Read blog

Melanie Rands holding a diecast model of the TSMV Matua​.

Dr Andrea Low, Associate Curator, Contemporary World

From the collection

Get to know some of our taonga



This davui (Charonia tritonis) has a small hole cut into the shell towards the tip which when blown into, produces a loud call that carries over distance.

Used for signalling and on important occasions, the davui generally produces a single note. One variety of davui which are associated with western Viti Levu, have a blowing hole cut into the end of the shell instead of the side and have a small finger hole bored near the mouth of the shell allowing a variation in pitch.

Acquired in 1929, this davui was part of the Edge-Partington collection.​


Image: Davui (trumpet shell) with a small hole cut out to produce sound; AWMM 3998. Photographed by Jennifer Carol.

Learn more

Specimens from Fiji

Here you can explore a small selection of the specimens, and click through to explore even more of the collection.

Do you know how to say "no worries" in Fijian?

Booking and Sales Co-ordinator Vasiti Tupou is here to teach you a few phrases in Fijian.

Colour in the plants and patterns of Fiji


Colour in the plants and patterns of Fiji

Try your hand at this colouring-in page that features patterns from Fiji as well as the iconic masiratu (which you can learn more about in this blog).

Download now

Visit the archive

There's more to see in the Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti archive

More to see

More to see

Visit our archive of Fijian Language Week content from previous years.

Visit the archive

Image: Cone shells (Conus marmoreus), MA124583.