A couple of weeks ago, I took my class to the Auckland Museum to research indigenous Maori and Pasifika artefacts and we had an amazing time there with the Pasifika team welcoming us into their space and sharing with us some amazing information.
We got to have a tour around the Pasifika space with Ma’ara who is a Cook Islands archaeologist and he spoke of the scientific information as well as indigenous understandings which can be quite different.
We then explored some taonga (precious artefacts) that were being discussed with ‘knowledge holders’ from Fiji as they record the information both digitally and through cataloguing the artefacts. This was what they called indigenous research in action!
After our shared lunch, we also got to have a ‘behind the scenes’ tours where we were able to go to their storage area and were given a tour of various areas where artefacts were stored that weren’t already on display in the museum. Quite a spectacular array of so many different things.
Wow! what a privilege and it also gave me some ideas for future books in sharing the information that we received to make the knowledge more accessible to our communities and especially for future generations…