The 2010 edition of Tuhinga is the largest ever published. Its diverse contents demonstrate both the range and depth of Te Papa’s scholarly work.
The first article examines the work of Samoan-born graphic designer Joseph Churchward, who hand-created more typefaces than anyone else in the world (750). In acquiring and exhibiting samples of Churchward’s work (most recently in the 2008 exhibition Letter Man), Te Papa has chosen to present Pacific artefacts outside an ethnographic context. In a subsequent article, two other recent Te Papa exhibitions serve as case studies in a study of community-focused exhibitions and the issues they pose for museums, including consultation and authenticity.
Collections of Māori fish-hooks in European museums are the subject of the second article. Many are in fact replicas and fakes, produced for trade or to satisfy the demands of curio collectors, yet they make an important contribution to our understanding of traditional hooks.
Molluscs feature in the next two articles. The first describes a new genus and species of large mussel discovered at active venting sites off the Kermadec Islands; the second explains how thirty-seven species of terrestrial molluscs found on a low-lying makatea island in the southern Cook Islands have changed over several hundred years.
The focus then shifts from Cook Islands fauna to artefacts, with a critical overview of the development of Te Papa’s Cook Islands collection since 1865. This is followed by an article proposing a new strategy for understanding a single item in that collection – the 19th century blue woollen cloak of Rarotongan chief Te Aia. When historical information is lacking, how else can we uncover a garment’s story?
New discoveries feature in two articles about parasites. The first focuses on lice in the genus Myrsidea found on birds in the Galapagos Islands, and identifies several new taxa. The second reviews both published and unpublished research into the diverse ectoparasites carried by the New Zealand kiwi, some of which present real risks to this threatened species.
This bumper edition of Tuhinga concludes with an article describing Rarotonga’s coastal landsnail fauna. While indigenous and endemic species were once abundant, many have declined or become extinct since the mid 19th century – largely due to habitat loss and introduced predators.
Letter Man: representing graphic designer Joseph Churchward
ABSTRACT: Since the 1960s, Samoan-born graphic designer Joseph Churchward has hand-created over 570 typefaces (fonts), the greatest number designed by any individual in the world. In 2008, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) acquired
a large number of samples of Churchward’s work and showcased a range of pieces in the exhibition Letter Man: Joseph Churchward’s world of type. This new acquisition and exhibition deviated from the historical practice of collecting and exhibiting artefacts from the Pacific
Islands, which previously had an ethnographic focus. This paper considers the rationale for acquiring an extensive archive of this nature for the Pacific Cultures collection.
Read the article. (PDF 800 KB)
Mäori fishhooks in European museums
Chris D. Paulin
ABSTRACT: Mäori and other Polynesian fishhooks held in museums throughout Europe were examined from collections in Russia, France, Austria, Ireland, Scotland and England. Among the hundreds of Mäori hooks available, less than two dozen can reliably be attributed to the voyages of James Cook and other early European explorers, while many others are possibly of Cook origin but cannot be verified. Most museum collections include hooks made in the period between the 1880s and 1920s, when demand from ‘curio’ collectors led to many replicas or fakes being produced for trade purposes. These Mäori
fishhooks are vital to our understanding of how traditional Mäori hooks were manufactured and functioned.
Read the article (PDF 700 KB)
Representing community exhibitions at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Stephanie Gibson* and Sean Mallon**
ABSTRACT: Exhibitions at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) are represented and promoted through a title and ‘hero’ image. Te Papa works with external community advisors to determine titles and images for community-focused exhibitions.
The authors analyse two exhibition case studies in terms of ommunity consultation, the representation of complex communities, and authenticity of the images used: The Scots in New Zealand and Tangata o le Moana: the story of Pacific people in New Zealand.
Read the article (PDF 900 KB)
A new genus and species of large mussel (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Mytilidae) from the Kermadec Ridge
Rudo von Cosel and Bruce A. Marshall
ABSTRACT: A large mussel, Vulcanidas insolatus new genus and new species, is described from active venting sites on Macauley and Giggenbach submarine volcanoes off Macauley Island, Kermadec Islands, northeast of New Zealand’s North Island. Based on morphology, the phylogenetically basal position of the new species to other large mussels from hot vents and cold seeps is confirmed: Vulcanidas n.gen. is closer to small mussels associated with sunken wood and whale falls (Modiolinae, genera Idas Jeffreys, 1876, dipicola
Dautzenberg, 1927 and BenthomodiolusDell, 1987). The new mussel has enlarged gills that support endosymbiotic sulphur-oxidising bacteria, a longer digestive tract than in other mussels from vents and seeps, and, uniquely, dendritically textured gonadal tissue on the
inner mantle lobes. Vulcanidas insolatus lives in dense beds as shallow as 140 m, and is the shallowest-living vent or seep mussel.
Read the article (PDF 1.2 MB)
Changes in the terrestrial molluscan fauna of Miti‘äro, southern Cook Islands
Fred J. Brook, Richard K. Walter and Jacqueline A. Craig
ABSTRACT: Thirty-seven species of terrestrial molluscs (36 landsnails and one slug) are recorded from Miti‘äro, a low-lying makatea island in the southern Cook Islands. The fauna was found to consist predominantly of non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, and
lacked local endemics. Comparison of fossil and modern assemblages indicates declines and extirpation/extinction of some species, including three species of Endodontidae, over the last several hundred years. There have also been synanthropic introductions of many non-indigenous species, beginning in the prehistoric period, and including a major influx over the last 100 years or so of species ultimately derived from source areas outside the Pacific basin.
Read the article (PDF300 KB)
Rediscovering the collection: Cook Islands material culture in the
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Grace Hutton, Safua Akeli and Sean Mallon
ABSTRACT: Artefacts from the Cook Islands have been collected since the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) opened in 1865 as the Colonial Museum. In this article we provide a historical overview of the Cook Islands collection at Te Papa. We discuss
the strengths and weaknesses of the collection, review some of the factors influencing its growth, and consider the possibilities for future collection development. This article is an output of a survey of the Cook Islands collection carried out between 2007 and 2009. Read the article (PDF 2 MB)
Lifting the cloak of silence: redramatising clothing as material culture, through an object analysis of Te Aia’s cloak
ABSTRACT: Many museum collections contain historical items that have little remaining to link them to their original context. The nineteenth-century blue wool cloak of Te Aia Matai‘apo from the Cook Islands is one such item. This article investigates methods of analysis to produce other means of articulation for such cases when a purely historical one is limiting. Close study of the cut and construction of the garment opens entry to the minds of the makers. Examination of manufacturing techniques of the cloak opens possibilities for new narratives of display, where previously only the provenance details had been utilised. This article also explores the performance quality of garments, which from within a Polynesian context lends them a specific significance. Both a direct study of the cloak’s construction and its position within a wider context of performance of Polynesian material culture are offered as strategies that can be applied to similar items that lack historical context.
Read the article (PDF 400 KB)
The species of MyrsideaWaterston (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Menoponidae) from the Galápagos Islands, with descriptions of new taxa
Ricardo L. Palma and Roger D. Price
ABSTRACT: Three species and one subspecies of lice in the genus Myrsidea are described and illustrated from passerine hosts from the Galápagos Islands. New taxa are: Myrsidea darwini new species (type host Geospiza fuliginosa Gould, Emberizidae); Myrsidea nesomimi nesomimi new species and subspecies (type host Nesomimus macdonaldi Ridgway, Mimidae); and Myrsidea nesomimi borealis new subspecies (type host Nesomimus parvulus (Gould),
Mimidae). Myrsidea ridulosa (Kellogg & Chapman) is recorded for the first time in the Galápagos Islands, from Dendroica petechia aureola (Gould) (Parulidae). Myrsidea nesomimi is the first species of Myrsidea described from members of the family Mimidae.
Read the article (PDF 700 KB)
A review of ectoparasites of Apteryx spp. (kiwi) in New Zealand, with new host records, and the biology of Ixodes anatis (Acari: Ixodidae)
ABSTRACT: The ectoparasite fauna of kiwi is reviewed, and new host records given for ticks and fleas. New locality records for the tick Ixodes anatis Chilton, 1904 are provided, together with geographical distribution, seasonal data for each tick stage, and a discussion on the biology of the tick as far as could be ascertained from the available material and observational data. The effects of the parasites on the hosts, and the extent to which host phylogeny
is only dimly illuminated by host–parasite relationships, are presented. The availability of a good series of the trombiculid Guntheria (Derrickiella) apteryxi Loomis & Goff, 1983 suggests that this mite is likely to be more specific to the kiwi than the mammalian links with other species in this genus would otherwise indicate. Some suggestions are made for further research, especially into tick biology.
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Coastal landsnail fauna of Rarotonga, Cook Islands: systematics, diversity, biogeography, faunal history, and environmental influences
Fred J. Brook
ABSTRACT: The prehistoric (pre-AD1800) landsnail fauna of the Rarotongan coastal plain comprised at least 43 species. Seventeen of these were probably endemic to this island; the remainder of the fauna consisted of species with wider distributions in the tropical Pacific, including several species probably introduced by Polynesians. By contrast, the modern coastal landsnail fauna as surveyed in 2005–07 contained 48 species and was dominated by non-indigenous species that were mostly introduced to Rarotonga in the last 100 years or so; most of the Rarotongan and Cook Island endemics are either extinct or verging on extinction. Loss and modification of native shrubland and forest habitats in the lowlands during the historic period was undoubtedly a key factor in the declines and extinctions of many native Rarotongan snail species. However, the introduction and establishment of a suite of non-indigenous predators during the historic period was probably also a significant contributing factor, and is inferred to have been the main cause of the declines and extinctions of native snail species in inland Rarotonga over the last 140 years. Descriptions of 13 new species of landsnails, thought to be endemic to Rarotonga, are given: Atropis rarotongana n.sp. (Assimineidae); eight species of Minidonta (Endodontidae) – Minidonta aroa n.sp., Minidonta arorangi n.sp., Minidonta iota n.sp., Minidonta kavera n.sp., Minidonta matavera n.sp., Minidonta ngatangiia n.sp., Minidonta pue n.sp. and Minidonta rutaki n.sp.; and four species of Sinployea (Charopidae) – Sinployea muri n.sp., Sinployea taipara n.sp., Sinployea titikaveka n.sp. and Sinployea tupapa n.sp. Nesopupa rarotonga n.sp. (Vertiginidae) from the southern Cook Islands is also described.Read the aericle. (PDF 1.2 MB)