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Collections & Research

Collections Online

Search more than one million catalogue records from Auckland Museum’s natural sciences, human history and documentary heritage collections. Explore search highlights or browse by topic. Read more about our collections.

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The Battle of Rafah

On 9 January 1917, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles participated in the final battle of the Sinai Campaign on the borders of Palestine - an event which changed the Middle East in ways which continue to resound today.

Tonny Brinkman: Sand Collector

Sand collector Tonny Brinkman has generously donated 3500 sands to Auckland Museum - and her decades of collecting show that you can explore the world without going far from home.

Bomber Command - The Dambusters

The NZ Bomber Command Association Memorial Sculpture commemorates the 2,157 New Zealanders who lost their lives flying with the RAF Bomber Command. Mini Prasad discusses the making of the memorial and the history of the two New Zealanders who flew in the Dambusters raid.


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The development of the Auckland War Memorial Museum online collection is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.

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  Ie toga    
  mat - Finely woven pandanus mats called ‘ie toga are the highest ranking item in the Samoan exchange system. Their red feather borders are a symbol of chiefly status.    
   
 
  Place of Origin: Samoa

Material: pandanus
Measurements: l 58 cm

Museum location: Auckland Museum
Specific location: Lifeways
Ethnology no: 33561
 
   
 Detailed description: Finely woven pandanus mats called ‘ie toga are the highest ranking item in the Samoan exchange system. Their red feather borders are a symbol of chiefly status. Since ancient times, these mats and the red feathers have linked Tonga, Samoa and Fiji in a complex trading relationship. Tongan navigators traveled to Fiji to obtain the red feathers of the Fijian kula lory or the kaka parrot which they took to Samoa where they exchanged them for finished ‘ie toga.
In Samoa, ‘ie toga are presented and exchanged at weddings, funerals, title investitures and other important occasions. They are worn as kilts by the sons and daughters of chiefs for special dances. In Tonga, ancient fine mats carry illustrious personal names and are only brought out on royal occasions.
 
  
 References: (1) Stead, O (ed). 2001. 150 Treasures.