The blog is where we'll post news, updates, information about objects in our collection, #betterworkstories, profiles of staff members and visitors, pictures and videos, and really anything we think you'd find interesting. We hope you enjoy.
If there's a topic you'd like us to do a post about, or a post that you think needs a sequel, just let us know!
Climate Kit, a project by international artists Sara Dean and Beth Ferguson, will call the Otago Museum home for the next month. It has been produced in partnership with ZERO1 American Arts Incubator, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Embassy in Wellington
The Otago Museum, in partnership with the University of Otago, has been successful in its bid to host the inaugural 2018 conference for the Society of the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) together with the Taxonomic Database Working Group (TDWG).
By now you may have heard about the latest digital craze, Pokémon Go, taking the world by storm, and it hasn’t taken long for Dunedin-ites to jump on board.
When many of us think of taoka, or treasures, we think of culturally valuable items people have made. Natural taoka are plants, birds and other animals that are important to Māori and have a cultural significance that is sometimes – but not always – related to traditional use of their parts, or to their presence in the local area.
In Māori mythology, hue (or gourds) are personified by the deity Hinepūtēhue, the youngest daughter of Tāne and Hinerauāmoa. It is said after the separation of Ranginui and Papatuanuku there was terrific fighting amongst their children.
My mahi in the Museum is financial accounting. Each day as I walk through the Nature gallery to my office I pass familiar taonga – kekeno (New Zealand fur seal), paikea (humpback whale) remains and kōura (crayfish) – that connect me back home to Kaikōura. Before moving to Dunedin I never lived more than a kilometre from the ocean and could either see it, hear it, was on it or in it.
The moa was a flightless bird similar to the emu of Australia and the rhea of South America. They lived exclusively in New Zealand and became extinct about 600 years ago.
A Kinikini is an article of clothing that was used by Māori. English translations refer to a Kinikini as a waist mat or a kilt, although Herries Beattie refers to some of his informants stating that it could also be worn hung from the shoulder, as well as around the waist.
This is a Toki Pou Tāngata or ceremonial adze worked from pounamu that is lashed to a finely carved handle. Toki Pou Tāngata would be used by rangatira on ceremonial occasions, such as the felling of trees for a waka or the poutokomanawa of a Marae, and was a symbol of chiefly authority.
Āwheto refers to both caterpillars and the vegetable like state of a caterpillar that has been infected by a parasitic fungus used by early Māori as pigment for tā moko, traditional tattooing.