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Follow Te Papa

 

Build your guide

Select your chapters, build your own digital guide to Oceania: Early encounters, and then download or email it.

Start now

Oceania: Early encounters

Oceania – the sea of islands in the vast Pacific. The peopling of this watery world goes back thousands of years, but only in the last 500 have Pacific and European peoples met here. Journey through time to explore their early encounters – some of them marked by curiosity and cooperation, others by confusion and conflict.

In this exhibition

  • People of the sea
    People of the sea

    The original peoples of the Pacific shared a voyaging history and maintained strong cultural ties.

  • Early contact
    Early contact

    The first contact between European explorers and Pacific peoples prompted a range of responses.

  • Creative encounters
    Creative encounters

    Increasing interaction between Pacific peoples and newcomers brought great change, including in the arts.

  • Spirit worlds
    Spirit worlds

    Spirituality was a fundamental part of life in pre-European Oceania – and then came missionaries and Christianity.

  • Cultures in conflict
    Cultures in conflict

    From warrior times to colonisation – European settlement of the Pacific sometimes sparked armed conflict.