Mauri!

Sunday 10th July – Saturday 16th July 2022 is Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati, Kiribati Language Week.
To celebrate we will share Kiribati items from our collections, light up the museum walls with the national colours of blue, red, yellow, white and share a video of knowledge holders visiting our Kiribati collection at the Museum, as well as a Zoom panel discussion.

Moving the needle
INTERVIEW

Chris Charteris

Moving the needle

For Kiribati Language Week, we spoke to artist Chris Charteris about studying Kiribati objects in Auckland Museum's collection to find out how they were made, how he plays with form, the utility of artworks, and making things the hard way.

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Get a closer look at an i-Kiribati tibuta
UP-CLOSE

Get a closer look at an i-Kiribati tibuta

Te tibuta is the Kiribati national top. Worn by a girl, this tibuta has been made from a pink cotton lawn fabric and a smocking technique has been used to gather the shoulders and chest area. Three crocheted rosettes have been embroidered across the chest area upon the smocked fabric, and the bottom edge has been left unseamed as the cloth has been cut along the fabrics selvedge.

You can watch the Zoom interview with Brian Sagala from 531PI, Mrs Terenga Tebwebwe and Andrea Low (Curator, Pacific) about i-Kiribati textiles and dance costumes here.


Te tibuta. AWMM. 2001.12.17. More information ›
A celebration of Kiribati dance at the Museum

A celebration of Kiribati dance at the Museum

On Tuesday evening we celebrated Kiribati Language Week with dance performances to Kiribati contemporary music. We're grateful to the WAKA dance group and everyone who came to celebrate with us. Ko na mauri!

On the move

Recently our Collection Care team very slowly and carefully maneuvered several large vaka between collection stores. The one shown here is from Kiribati, and is called Te Ang Ni Raoi (The Fair Wind).

Kiribati Kiore and the fight to save Pacific island biodiversity
FROM THE COLLECTION

Kiribati Kiore and the fight to save Pacific island biodiversity

The Auckland Museum holds a specimen (LB13) of Rattus exulans, the Kiore or Pacific rat, collected from the Phoenix Islands, Kiribati. This specimen is stored in alcohol in the Land Vertebrate wet collection and was collected August 17 1937 by Major Geoffrey A Buddle (of Auckland) during the Total Solar Eclipse expedition.

The Kiore is one of three rat species that have hitched a ride with humans across the globe. Recent molecular studies indicate that, in the Pacific, these rats first spread on the waka of voyagers from the Island of Flores in South East Asia, and subsequently became widely established across Polynesia approximately 2500 years BP. Kiore have had a profound impact on Pacific Island ecosystems. They consume plants and their seeds, impacting native forests but are also capable predators, consuming a broad variety of prey that is below their own body mass including invertebrates, reptiles, small birds and the eggs and chicks of larger species.

In 2008, the government of Kiribati established the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, one of the largest protected areas on Earth, to conserve the stunning land and sea biodiversity of this remote oceanic region. A feature of this project has been the eradication of Kiore, as well as other invasive mammals such as rabbits, from islands within the group to protect threatened biodiversity, such as the 19 species of tropical seabirds which breed there. 

Matt Rayner (Curator, Land Vertebrates)

Learn some Kiribati words

 


 

Charles Enoka Kiata, MNZM

Charles Enoka Kiata, MNZM

Ko na mauri! Te inga ma te kukurei n anoiko ba tina itamaomao ni bukamarua rungaean ara bong ae moan te kakawaki ni katonua Wiikin te Taetae ni Kiribati iaon Aotearoa, Nutiran.

Te bong aei ea kaman namataki taekana ma rongorongona irouia te baronga n aomata ao man kabaekekeaki iroun te Tautaeka n Nutiran ba ena ongo meang, maiaki, maeo ma mainuku, ao te aonnaba ae banin. 

Tamaki Paera Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum bon aia bangota ara bakatibu n Tungaru ike a kawakinaki iai te rabakau ma te rongorongo ni Kiribati ibukira ma natira ao tibura ngkai ao ibukin taai aika ana roko.

Ara bau te Mauri te Raoi ao te Tabomoa! 

Charles Enoka Kiata, MNZM
Auckland, New Zealand

Kiribati knowledge holders visit Auckland Museum


Last year we were fortunate to be joined by esteemed members of the Kiribati community in New Zealand, who came to Auckland Museum to discuss some of the Kiribati collection items, and share their knowledge about them. In this video, Auckland Musuem's Ma'ara Maeva was joined by Dr. Matikora Itonga Marea, Mr. Baitika Toum, Charles Enoka Kiata and Dr. Janet O’Connor.

 

Zoom Talanoa: Kiribati treasures


For Kiribati Language Week 2020, Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum held an online talanoa session titled "Kiribati treasures: Te Kun and taona n riri", and it highlighted a migratory bird from the Museum's collection, as well as a dance costume from the Natural History and Pacific collection. 

Rebecca Bray (Collection Manager, Natural Sciences) and Fuli Pereira (Curator Pacific) were joined by Nei Kaetaeta Watson, Nei Louisa Humphry, Dr Janet O’Connor and Charles Enoka. Together the panelists and participants engaged in an inspiring discussion that included exploring the migratory habits of Te Kun, as well as the cultural and customary use of the taona n riri and its role in the identity of Kiribati dance worldwide. 

 

 

 

Kiribati objects from our collection

These items from our collection offer a glimpse into the Kiribati way of life, an introduction to the island's people, customs and a detailed exploration of precious and daily objects.

Te Kun
FROM THE COLLECTION

Frequent Flyer

Te Kun

The Te Kun or Pacific golden plover is a truly amazing Pacific wanderer. These small shorebirds breed on the summer Arctic tundra of Alaska and Siberia which has an abundance of insect food and few predators to pose a risk to their nests.

However, as the weather grows colder in August and September the birds migrate southwards into the Pacific, to the islands of Kiribati, Oceania and even as far south as New Zealand. Here they feed on the shoreline of lagoons and estuaries on a broad diet of worms, crabs, insects, spiders and plant seeds and berries.

In March and April, the birds travel northwest to Japan or Hawaii, where they rest for a few weeks before making the final long journey back to their breeding grounds.  Their remarkable annual journey ranges from 16,000 – 27,000 km with each leg made as a non-stop flight of 3–8 days. 

Auckland Museum holds three specimens (LB2767-LB2769) of this species from Kiribati. All are study skins collected in 1937 from Canton Island by Major Geoffrey A Buddle (of Auckland) during the Total Solar Eclipse expedition. The specimens are held in our collections and cared for by our Land Vertebrates department. You can see images of the specimens on our collections online resource here.
 

Colour in a Te Kun bird
FOR THE KIDS

COLOURING-IN SHEET

Colour in a Te Kun bird

Colour in a Te Kun pacific golden plover, strolling along a Kiribati beach.

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Exploring the first book known to be published on Kiribati culture
BLOG

Exploring the first book known to be published on Kiribati culture

Discover the story of ‘Aia Karaki nikawai i-Tungaru. Myths and legends of the Gilbertese [Kiribati] people. 1942’, the first book on Kiribati culture published in Gilbertese [i-Kiribati]. 

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Recognising WWI Gilbert Islanders – i-Kiribati service personnel
ONLINE CENOTAPH

Recognising WWI Gilbert Islanders – i-Kiribati service personnel

Do you know of anyone from the Gilbert Islands (now known as Kiribati) who enlisted in the New Zealand Army during WWI? Our Online Cenotaph team have identified 25 i-Kiribati  servicemen but would love to hear from you if you know of any others not represented on this list.

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From Sunday 10 July we will light up the Museum for a week in the colours of the Kiribati flag. See the building illuminate in blue, red, yellow and white.

 

 

Header image: Te iriba n bobai, ornamental fan. Kiribati. AWMM. 1991.58. 53755. More information