September 2013

May 2013

April 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

August 2011

July 2011

Göttingen Visit
25- 27 July 2011

Arawa visitors in Cambridge

June 2011

Cook collections: research breakthrough at the British Museum

Cook First Voyage collections: research visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum

Ngai Tamanuhiri in Cambridge

September 2010

Sainsbury Research Unit collaboration

Funding excellence

August 2010

Pacific Arts Association Xth International Symposium

DiSCO Workshop

July 2010

Research seminar: Digital Subjects, Cultural Objects

June 2010

Introductory talk for TATAU: Symmetry, Harmony and Beauty

MAA hosts Semisi Fetokai Potauaine

EXHIBITION – Tatau: Samoan Tattooing / Global Culture

January 2010

Visit to Uawa


Museo de America Madrid, Spain: ongoing research and artistic influence
Maia Nuku and Billie Lythberg, September 2013

Three visits by team members to view late eighteenth-century artefacts from Tonga and Tahiti at the Museo de America in Madrid have contributed to a series of conservation projects at the Spanish museum. Beatriz Robledo and her team continue to work on their magnificent Pacific collections and have produced a selection of short films showcasing their efforts to stabilise and care for some of these extremely fragile artefacts, which can be viewed on YouTube:

Restoration of eighteenth-century Tongan feather headdress

Eighteenth-century Tongan ngatu

Restoration of heiva tupapa’u / Tahitian mourners costume

Tahitian and Tongan barkcloth

A two-day public symposium at the Museo de America, co-hosted by the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, is planned for December 2013. This will see specialists in eighteenth-century voyage collections join Spanish scholars for a reappraisal of the archival evidence regarding the provenance of the Museum’s collections and close examination of surviving artefacts.

Meanwhile, Research Associate Billie Lythberg has been working with No`o Fakataha, a Tongan artists’ collective based in Auckland New Zealand, who have been responding creatively to Tongan artefacts likely to have been collected at Vava’u during Alejandro Malaspina’s expedition (1789-94), which were recently re-discovered at the Madrid museum. One artist, Benjamin Work, produced this awesome mural inspired by the eighteenth-century Tongan feathered headdress uncovered in Madrid last year by project Research Associate Maia Nuku. Work's murals are a proclamation and reclamation of Tongan chiefly insignia designed to provoke and stimulate interest in Tonga’s past in order to facilitate a reevaluation of art in Tonga’s present and future via the egalitarian medium of street art. We look forward to seeing what further productive collaborations unfold for the future!


18th century feathered headdress, Tonga.
Photo: Maia Nuku


Artwork by Benjamin Work, New Zealand.
Photo: Billie Lythberg