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Aotearoa, Host of the 2nd Festival of Pacific Arts

Cover Image: Masthead of Hawaii Holomua published on February 22, 1893.

Aloha Nūhou Monday!

Dear Reader,

The Festival of Pacific Arts & Culture is the world’s largest celebration of Indigenous Pacific Islanders, bringing together artists, cultural practitioners, scholars, and officials from member nations of the Pacific Community (SPC).

This traveling festival is held every four years and was first launched by the South Pacific Commission in 1972 to halt the erosion of traditional practices through ongoing cultural exchange. In June of 2024, Hawaiʻi will host the 13th festival on Oʻahu under the theme, “Hoʻoulu Lāhui: Regenerating Oceania.”

Over the coming months, we will honor each of the previous FestPAC hosts with posts featuring those island nations and their connections to Hawaiʻi’s own history. This week’s post honors Aotearoa which, in 1976, became the 2nd nation to host the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture, under the theme, “Sharing Culture.” This festival was held in Rotorua.

In 1893, soon after the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by agents of the United States, the government of New Zealand submitted a formal protest to Great Britain, showing its disapproval of a seemingly inevitable annexation to come. The Hawaiian author, who is unknown, finds commonality and solidarity among the Māori of Aotearoa and the Kānaka Maoli of Hawaiʻi, in remarking, “Let us remember, O Hawaiian people––this is a nation for the brown-skinned, and just like we Hawaiians, so too do they jealously guard their birthland and rights.”

Image: Entrance to Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 221407

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: “Ke Aupuni o Nukilani.” Hawaii Holomua, February 22, 1893, p. 2.

The New Zealand Government.

According to the reports we have received, we have been informed that the government of New Zealand has presented its protest against the annexation of Hawaiʻi to America before the imperial government of England. Let us remember, O Hawaiian people––this is a nation for the brown-skinned, and just like we Hawaiians, so too do they jealously guard their birthland and rights.

Image: Māori moko or tattooing, Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 126536

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: Door of Māori house with men carving in foreground, Aotearoa New Zealand. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 117017

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org, Bishop Museum Archives.

Image: Hongi. Tama te Kapua meeting house Ohinemutu, Rotorua, Aotearoa New Zealand. pre-1920. Bishop Museum Archives. SP 221408

Image sharing on social media is welcome. For all other uses please contact Archives@BishopMuseum.org, Bishop Museum Archives.

This post is part of He Aupuni Palapala: Preserving and Digitizing the Hawaiian Language Newspapers, a partnership between Bishop Museum and Awaiaulu with assistance from Kamehameha Schools. Mahalo nui loa to Hawaii Tourism Authority for their support. Learn more about this project here.

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