P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. Dresses

Fashions reflect more than passing fads. For many Pacific women, the clothes they wear can have a special significance. Learn about the dresses worn by a woman who has played an important role in supporting Pacific cultures in New Zealand.

Staff pick by Sean Mallon, Senior Curator Pacific Cultures.

Why picked? This clip tells a story about a style of dress introduced to the Pacific by Christian missionaries in the 1800s. It has since been adopted by the women of PACIFICA in New Zealand as a celebration of their group identity and activism. The conversation between Mere Tepaeru Tereora, who donated the dresses and Riria Hotere, the presenter is also special and highlights how historical interventions in fashion more than 100 years ago can resonate in new ways for people in the present.

Tales from Te Papa is a fascinating series of mini-documentaries showcasing many of the exciting, wonderful and significant objects held in our national museum.

Tales from Te Papa was commissioned by TVNZ 7, in partnership with Te Papa.

All Tales from Te Papa episodes