Tokelau Language Week

It is Tokelau’s turn to take the highlight. This week is Tokelau Language Week  at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The theme is: ‘Taofi ke mau ki tau aganuku Tokelau-  Hold fast to your Tokelau Culture’.

You can take a fun quiz and follow recent posts on the Te Papa blog.


Tokelau is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand consisting of three coral atolls in Polynesia, South Pacific: Atafu, Nukunonu, and Fakaofo. These atolls lie approximately mid-way between Hawaii and New Zealand  and about 500 km north of Samoa.

Vice-Admiral John Byron of England found Atafu on his 1765 voyage but saw no signs of inhabitants. In 1791, Captain Edward Edwards found Nukunonu while searching for mutineers from the HMS Bounty. The US whaling ship General Jackson reached the island of Fakaofo in 1835.

Christianity is of central importance to Tokelauans. Everyone looks forward to attending church services several times a week. Regardless of denomination, music and dance figure prominently in religious expression and permeates daily life.

Tokelau has no land areas that is more than two meters above high water of ordinary tides. Thus, the island nation is particularly vulnerable to any possible sea level rises caused by global warming.

Tokelau is Polynesian for ‘North Wind’.  With no airstrip to land airplanes, Tokelau is one of the most remote places in the Central Pacific.

Enjoy the week!

About islandculturearchivalsupport

Island Culture Archival Support (ICAS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of records pertaining to the cultural identity of island peoples in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia whose national and public archives, libraries, cultural centers, and business organizations are underprivileged, underfunded, and understaffed. The specific purpose for which this nonprofit corporation was formed is to support the needs of these South Pacific cultural heritage institutions by helping to preserve and make accessible records created for business, accountability or cultural purposes. The organization will endeavor to add value by providing resources or volunteers to advise, train, and work among island residents to support their efforts in building their future and preserving their collective memory through the use of modern archival techniques.
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