Ni Sa Bula Vinaka!

On this page you can explore content from previous years of Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti, Fijian Language Week. 

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.


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.

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

Dr Andrea Low, Associate Curator, Contemporary World

Interview with poet Daren Kamali 

We caught up with Pacific poet Daren Kamali to talk about his upbringing in Suva, his love for poems and songs, his inspiration for his work and the importance of learning languages.

Daren recently wrote and recited 100 poems in support of Fiji, as the nation has battled its current outbreak of COVID-19 for over 100 days. Daren's 98th poem of this series is recited in this video.

Daren Kamali wearing a tabua (whale tooth).

Raymond Sagapolutele


Read Daren's 98th poem in support of Fiji (Poem 98)



Cavutu mai na dua na yanuyanu parataisi

Era wananavu na kena itaukei

Na veiyanuyanu era māmārau

Au vākasamataka lesu tale

Noqu gauna guiguilecavi drēdrē

Noqu veigauna

Siga vivinaka ni noqu bula

Susugi me sotava na varuvaru leqaleqa qō


Vulica na veikā kece mai yanuyanu

Era vakavulici yau meu sasaga

Bula tiko na yaloqu

Na vakanānanu ni gauna oyā e uluqu

Taqiri vakā na lali

Au vakasamataki ira na wekaqu

Mai na yanuyanu ni veimataniciva

Mai Viti ki Aotearoa i na ciwa rua


Duatani na vanua

Dua na kā vou

Sā sivi e tini ka ciwa na yabaki

Na vakanānanu i vale sega ni yali

Gaunisala balavu au lakova mai

Meu mai vucu serekali nikua

Ena noqu vākāsama

Au rogoca ni ra kaya na tukaqu

Vākaukaua mo kākua ni lako sese

Sāmaka na nomu siga sā sivi

Kua ni guilecava na ivakarau makawa, luvequ




Coming from an island paradise

where the people are nice

the arms are full of smiles

I track back in time


moments of mine

those beautiful days of my life

nurturing me for this world of strife


Learnt all I can from the islands

Do people taught me how to strive

keep my spirits alive

memories of those times in my head

ringing like bells

thinking about my people

back in the islands of pearly shells

from Fiji to Aotearoa in 92


A different land

something you 17 years past

My memories of home still last

I have come a long way

to rap this poetry here today

in my head

I can hear my ancestors say

Try your best to never go astray

try to tidy up on your yesterday

never forget your old ways my son


Traditional dance as a means to learn the Fijian language

Join us as Fijian dance choreographer Alipate Traill talks to us about his upbringing and wisdom gained from his bubu (grandmother). Listen to his expert description of two items used for traditional meke (dance), understand his reasons for teaching traditional dance to children and how dance is an art form for learning language.

It's no surprise that Pacific Dance New Zealand selected Alipate as its Artist in Residence for 2021 given his full and sustained commitment to promoting Fijian culture.


+Learn more about Alipate

Albert (Alipate) Traill is an Auckland based tutor and choregrapher of Fijian meke (dance) and culture.

Born and raised in Fiji and attesting his knowledge and skills in Fijian itaukei culture to his Bubu Savaira, Alipate Traill has spent his life totally immersed in showcasing Fijian culture, history and stories through the performing arts.

Studying in Hawaii at the Brigham Young University in Political Science, Alipate refined and extended those skills with costuming, theatre and culture presentation skills at the renown Polynesian Centre in Laie, Hawaii from January 2000 to June 2007.

Back in New Zealand in 2007, Alipate established a Fijian cultural group named Kabu Kei Okaladi which performed at the Auckland’s Pasifika Festival, The Rugby World Cup, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs and many more places.

In 2016/2017 Alipate was contracted by the Auckland War Memorial Musuem to work as a key knowledge holder/advisor for the Pacific Collections Access Project.

In 2020, Alipate featured in Pacific Dance NZ’s “Transform Series” as a Fijian dance choreographer. He is currently the director of Te Mana Academy based at the Pacifica Arts Centre in Henderson.

His motto: ‘Honouring the Past – Preparing for the Future’

Alipate Traill.


Words with Alipate

Have a go at more Fijian words and expressions used by our guest Alipate in this video:

vakarokoroko - respect / meke - dance / Itaukei - culture / bubu - grandmother / voivoi - pandanus / bitu - bamboo / vesi - hardwood / sere - song / vakasama matua - wisdom / wakatu - identity / solesolevaki - working together for everyone / vakayalo - spirituality / vakanomondi - silence / veiweikani - relationship / tabua - whale tooth / kakana - food.

Dokai na Veiyavu me Vakaliuci  
Tadolava na Veigauna ena Muria

Honouring the past, preparing for the future

Annah Pickering

Annah Pickering

Ni Sa Bula Vinaka!
This week is a time for all Fijian people in Aotearoa New Zealand and across the globe to celebrate "Noqu Vosa, Noqu iSema Bula" — "My language is my living link".
As indigenous people, our heritage and the foundation where we come from is important to Fijians. When I think of migration, I think about my own family who, like so many families, migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand and in many respects, we still feel like we are migrating and on a life long journey. Our Vuvale (Family), Vanua (Land) and Ocean (Wasawasa) connect who we are. 
Fiji Language Week provides an opportunity to learn, speak and celebrate the various indigenous dialects of Fiji through traditional cultural experience of our way of life. At Auckland Museum, you will be introduced to Fiji collections of kau, masi, tabua, tanoa, and give you an insight to our ways of thinking, beliefs and traditional cultural practices.
In Fiji we say "Noqu Kalou, Noqu Vanua", which means "My God, My Land". As Fijians we acknowledge that God is the source of everything in our lives. Vanua (Land) is God's gift to us to look after, respect and protect all things given respectfully from the depths of the ocean to the highest mountains, it is our duty to safeguard for all future generations.
Lako mai on a journey with us, and discover our Viti a land full of beautiful people and a vibrant culture!
Vinaka vakalevu. 

Annah Pickering

Noqu vosa, noqu i yau talei
My Language, My Treasure

A talanoa on the use of Voivoi and Masi in objects held at Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland Museum, from the planting to the finished products.

The talanoa centres around Fijian treasures made from plants and botanical specimens held in the Auckland Museum collections. An educational talanoa for children and young people, and for the older generation it will take them back down memory lane. The talanoa speaks to the importance of plants in Fijian culture and delves into design and the many plants that have been used traditionally and are still used today to produce beautiful treasures such as Iri ni Meke, Tabua and Masi Kesa.

We were honoured and privileged to be joined by special guests: Joana Monolagi (Serua/Auckland), Alipate Trail (Fiji/Auckland) and Tarisi Vunidilo (Hawaii) and had input before the talanoa from Marika Tuiwawa (Curator of Botany, Fiji). 

Please note that due to technical difficulties this recording missed the introduction and Fijian blessing part of the Zoom.

A flower by any other name


A flower by any other name

Yumiko Baba (Associate Curator, Botany) and Paula Legel (Associate Curator, Heritage Publications) take a closer look at the monumental Flora Vitiensis, which, when it was published, documented every known plant in Fiji.

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The marvellous masiratu


The marvellous masiratu

It features on everything from stamps to banknotes – learn about why this intricate, deep forest–dwelling plant is so iconic in Fiji.

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