Va’aomanū (canoe of good fortune) is a unique exhibition which represents the history of Samoa, celebrating the place of Samoan People in the Pacific.
With the assistance of the Samoan Community in Manukau City, The Fisher Gallery, public gallery for Manukau City, presents the exhibition to the largest Polynesian city in the world. We aim to develop understanding and portray the depth of Samoan culture.
The exhibition comprises 60 photographs from the historical collections held by the National Library of New Zealand. The photographs selected for the exhibition relate to the social and political history of Samoa from 1880 until 1930. Most of these images have not been seen before, including; images of Samoan leaders, 19th century wars, the Apia town-ship and harbour, sport, education and the Mau independence movement.
Many Samoan visitors will recognise key figures in the development of Samoa and in some cases, relatives. A significant number of the photographs have not been seen in public before. They were taken by photographers who travelled through Samoa, including a number of well known practitioners like Alfred John Tattersall, the Burton Brothers, and Thomas Andrews. A number of the photographs were taken by unknown photographers.
Va’aomanū has been curated by Tupola Malifa, a lecturer in Samoan Studies at Victoria University. The Opening Function is jointly hosted by Pacifika Art O Manukau, Sosaiete Tina Samoa, Lalotoa I Aotearoa, Fesosoani Trust, Matai Council, Pe’avaeono Trust, Puleono Trust, Polynesian Airlines. It takes place from 11am - 1pm, Saturday 19 September, after which the exhibition will be open to the public.