Jewelled - an exhibition showcasing the rich culture and heritage of the Pacific with a collection of jewellery and adornments from the 18th century through to contemporary work will be on display at te tuhi - the mark between 17 January and 22 February.
Developed and toured by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, this exhibition includes an eighteenth century shell necklace collected during one of Captain Cook’s visits to Tonga and a red feather necklet collected in Papua New Guinea by a missionary in the nineteenth century.
These items will be exhibited in the heritage section, while the contemporary part of Jewelled features works by well-known Kiwi artists - including Alan Preston, Chris Charteris, Niki Hastings-McFall and Sofia Tekela-Smith. As well as a wide band of time, the pieces in this exhibition also cover a wide geographical area - across the Pacific from the Marquesas Islands to Papua New Guinea and from Hawaii to New Zealand.
A comprehensive variety of adornments (for the whole body) are displayed, including elaborate headpieces, ornamental combs, necklaces, belts, am, bands and pendants for the ears and nose. Jewelled tells many stories about the evolution of Pacific jewellery, which was historically often used as currency to be exchanged for food or timber. The jewellery was also worn for many different reasons - to signify status, celebrate heritage and even as a ‘down payment’ on a bride in some areas like the Solomon Islands.
→ Pearl and pounamu, feather and fibre, New Zealand Herald, 14-01-2004
→ Jewelled: adornments from across the Pacific, 2004, exhibition card