Mālo ni!

Sunday 22nd October – Saturday 28th October 2023 is Te Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau, Tokelau Language Week.

Header image: Vilivili (pump drill); AWMM 1998.13.11, 55491.


Join us for onsite celebrations

You're invited to join us for a special community drop-in

Past event

Past event

Our Te Aho Mutunga Kore team warmly invite Tokelau community members to join us to view a selection of Tokelauan textile and fibre material in our collections here at Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Auckland War Memorial Museum. Book a time to pay our Te Aho Mutunga Kore team a visit to view taonga in person, then share a cuppa and talanoa afterwards. 

Click the link below to find out more about Te Aho Mutunga Kore

Te Aho Mutunga Kore

Taukikilaga o na fakamaumauga o na kāiga ma na tino tautokatahi

If you would prefer to access this information in another language, click here to see the other options. 

Ko na fakamaumauga o na kāiga ko he vaega ia o te tatou talaaga. E kitatou maua mai ai te tatou fakahinomaga ma kitatou iloa ai foki te mea na omamai ai kitatou ma pe ko ai foki koe. Ko na fakamaumauga e aofia ai na ata, tuhi ata, tuhi, ma na pepa e tāua. Ko te fefaiakiga ma te teuga ona koloa ienei a te kāiga e iloa ai pe fia te leva e mafai ai ke teu. Ko na lapatakiga ienei e fehoahoani atu ke mafai ke teu mataloa ai na fakamaumauga a na kāiga ke mafai e na tupulaga e fai mai ke kilatou maua.




Ko he ata fakaholopito mai te Pacific Islands Education Resource Centre (PIERC) i na ata teu ma te Pulehili muamua o te PIERC Director Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane circa 1970s.

Tokelauan knowledge holders discuss their meahina

Watch the video to discover more about these meahina (taonga) in our collection

Things to read

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

Pa Atu ma Kahoa: The pearl-shell lures and pendants of Tokelau

Pa Atu ma Kahoa: The pearl-shell lures and pendants of Tokelau

Curator Pacific Fuli Pereira discusses the importance of pearl-shell fish lures in Tokelau culture and how these are circulated in the most egalitarian of communities.

Image: Pa atu (fishing lure); AWMM 1970.208, 43860.

Read more

Tautai: The knowledge sharing of Tokelau’s master fishermen

Tautai: The knowledge sharing of Tokelau’s master fishermen

By Leone Samu (former Associate Curator, Documentary Heritage, Pacific Collections)

In 2008, a group of Porirua-based Atafu elders who had migrated to New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s published a booklet entitled Hikuleo i te papa o Tautai. The booklet was written in gagana Tokelau and detailed the traditional fishing methods of Atafu. In 2012, the elders’ booklet was edited and translated into English by Emeritus Professor Anthony Hooper and Dr Iuta Tinielu under the title Echoes on Fishermen’s Rock.

Master fishermen are known as tautai in gagana Tokelau. Although tautai may once have closely guarded this body of fishing knowledge, the elders elected to share their knowledge with the intent of passing it on to youth especially those growing up outside of Tokelau.  

This desire to share with the next generation has been similarly reflected in the generosity of Auckland-based Tokelauan elders who participated in Auckland Museum’s Pacific Collection Access Project (PCAP). Over several talanoa sessions in early 2019, these elders discussed Tokelauan fishing practices and the prowess of tautai, among other topics which helped to increase our documentation and understanding of the Tokelauan treasures in the Pacific collection. These talanoa were facilitated by the Community Lead for the Tokelauan community, Reverend Iutana Pue. The records of many of the objects examined can be explored through Collections Online.

Image: Pā taki aheu (pearl shell fishing lure); AWMM 1970.208, 43862. Attributed to Dr Iona Tinielu of Fakaofo, tautai and trained medical doctor.

See some of our Tokelau book selection below.

Click on each cover to read more. 

Things to do

Get colouring and crosswording this Tokelau Language Week

Tokelauan crosswords

Did you know that the Tokelauan alphabet only has 15 letters? Find the Tokelauan equivalent for the English word clues in these crosswords for Tokelau Language Week. 

Get solving below!

Crossword one Crossword two

Colour in two beautiful Tokelauan ili

'Ili' is the Tokelauan word for a woven fan. A very practical thing to have on hand on a hot day, but also a beautifully woven object on its own. We have made two ili from the Museum's collection into colouring in pages.

First ili Second ili

See more

See more

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

Visit the archive

Flora of Tokelau, by Art Whistler, 2018, published by Isle Botanica, Honoluu. 125p.