Moana Oceania - Kiribati - Te Taumata Toi-a-Iwi


Te kao

Te kao, a mesh carrying net that is used to hold moray eels while travelling home from fishing at sea. It is made of te kora, coconut fibre string, with the circular ‘neck’ opening created using coconut leaf midribs and bound by te kora. It is from island of Beru, in the Kiribati islands.
Collection of Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, 1936.295, 23995; 75
Illustration by Cecelia Faumuina

Te Rabakau

By Kaetaeta Watson and Louisa Humprhy.

‘Art’ is not our word, it is foreign because we do not have a word for ‘art’ in Kiribati. Everything we ‘made/make’ was functional and made for a purpose so therefore the concept of ‘art’ is very different. We have a Kiribati word which is Te Rabakau – which means ‘knowledge’ – knowledge taught to me by my mother, by my grandmother and which I am therefore responsible for passing on to others including our children and our community. It is knowledge that is shared that I then have to practice and to refine the skill of. Yet still, it is so much more than that – it is my Kiribati culture, it is Kiribati pride, it stirs within and throughout me as an iKiribati person – it is a gift.  Read more

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