1952 30 498 patu 2
Collection

Pātītī: a Fusion of Cultures

The pātītī, a single-handed weapon, represents a fusion of Māori and European cultures.

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1991 113 3 Stoddart family
Stories

Stoddart Cottage

The original cottage built by early Canterbury settler Mark Stoddart (1819-1885) at Diamond Harbour has recently been restored. It's been open at weekends between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm in May, so there's still a chance to see it.

Latrodectus katipo red 650
Natural History

Coast New Zealand

If you’re a fan of katipo spiders, watch out for Museum Curator Natural History Cor Vink in Coast New Zealand on TV One at 8.00 pm Monday night. The segment was filmed at a local stronghold for katipo spiders, Kaitorete Spit, the long finger of land that separates Lake Ellesmere from the Pacific Ocean. 

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Discover

Selling the Dream

Selling the Dream is a collection of world-class tourism posters promoting New Zealand’s unique attractions in an age before television and the Internet. Created by some of the country’s finest commercial artists, the themes promoted through the posters reveal New Zealand’s developing national identity in the early twentieth century.

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Collection

Drum Beats of the Past

This drum, adorned with dancing figures, would have been used to set the rhythm for hula chants and dances. For Hawai’ians hula is more than just entertainment – it is a sacred experience originally developed as a way to honour the gods.

Dodo 2 650
Collection

Dead as a Dodo?

The Dodo was a flightless pigeon endemic to Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean. It became extinct within 100 years of the island's discovery, hunted by sailors and invasive animal species. The last widely accepted sighting of a Dodo was in 1662.

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Collection

Handmade in Papua New Guinea

Visit any marketplace in Papua New Guinea and your eye will immediately be drawn to brightly-coloured string bags, locally referred to as bilums.

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Collection

Māori at Tuahiwi

Check out the He Waka Eke Noa exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery which includes objects on loan from Canterbury Museum.

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Collection

Fishy Tale

In 1926 the Canterbury Club on Oxford Terrace had a visitor turn up who was definitely not on the members list. 

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Collection

Musical Instrument?

We're trying find out more about this plosive aerophone, or slap tube, which was picked up in Central Africa during the 1869 expedition to find British explorer Livingstone who'd disappeared while searching for the source of the Nile. Can you help?

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Collection

1970s Chic

This colourful coat was worn by Mrs Felicity Aitken at a garden party in Christchurch in 1970. The garden party was in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The royal visitors were in New Zealand to mark the bicentenary of the discovery of New Zealand by Captain James Cook. 

UnionFlag 1000
Collection

Polar Flag

Brown and threadbare, this fragment is from a flag erected at the South Pole on 17 January 1912. A poignant keepsake from Scott's ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition (1910–1913) it is part of the Museum’s world-renowned collection from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration and discovery. 

Rodolph Wigley second from left
Special Exhibition

Pioneering Aviator

Tourism and aviation pioneer Rodolph ('Wigs') Wigley wore a long leather flying coat with a fur-lined flying helmet to keep warm in unheated aircraft. Wigley, founder of Mt Cook Airlines, was a passenger on many pioneering flights including the first flight from Invercargill to Christchurch. 

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Collection

Fancy Dress?

This magnificent Elizabethan-style fancy dress was worn by Mrs Lucy Ellen Sykes Studholme to a ball at Government House in the 1870s. 

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Collection

Ed Hillary's sunhat

This simple cotton sunhat has quite a story. It has been to the top of the world’s highest mountain and is now cared for by Canterbury Museum.

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People

Back on top

The statue of William Rolleston (1831-1903) has been returned to its rightful place outside the Museum after falling off its plinth in the February 2011 earthquake.