News 17 Oct 2018
Auckland Museum came alive with the vibrant sounds of Fijian cultural group Kelesitoni Kaiviti last Thursday as part of Fiji Language Week. The group are from Kelston Girls College, which is the only all-girls state school in West Auckland.
With a rich cultural diversity, Kelston Girls' provides students with opportunities to engage with their heritage cultures through events such as Polyfest and Fijian Language Week. The school's motto 'She's Worth It' reflects the value of staying connected to one's culture, as exemplified by these NZ born/raised Fijian young women.
The Museum also hosted the Lauan Breeze Meke Group, who shared their passion for their culture through dance and performing. The meke range from vakamalolo to Fijian war dances and are performed by an-all male group, who have been performing at weddings, birthdays, functions and church events. They use their passion for dance to show their love for God, family and to carry on the culture of dance from their ancestors.
According to Barbara Afitu, Auckland Museum’s Engagement Facilitator, providing access to the Pacific community has created many memorable moments.
“We have been very privileged to be the kaitiaki (guardians) in this whare,” she says.
“The community has been wanting and expecting these moments where their ancestors’ eyes have seen, their ears have heard and their hands have made. For us, the community are the ultimate knowledge holders, so we see our role is providing a reconnection to the past in order to preserve them.
Participants were also taken on a Pacific Collection Access Project tour. Auckland Museum’s Pacific which numbers 30,000 pieces, making it one of the largest Pacific collections in the world. It also includes objects from the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Kiribati, Niue, Pitcairn Island, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Yokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu & Wallis & Futuna.
MC Junior Cagiaceva provided the closing speech and Talatala Aminio Cagiaceva the closing prayer.