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Museum Store Presents: Vanuatu Arts & Crafts

Museum Store Presents: Vanuatu Arts & Crafts
Museum Store Presents: Vanuatu Arts & Crafts

(Right) Christina Sirig, weaver and president of the Vetimboso Craft Association, and (Left) her husband Jonaston Manar, weaver and carver. 


At the Museum Store we challenge ourselves to provide an ever-evolving selection of new experiences and quality product, and to do so, we’ve embarked on one of our most ambitious partnerships yet.

The Museum Store has a responsibility to reflect our Pacific collections through products that we select and sell, and the artists we support. We are an extension of the Museum experience and play an important role in connecting our collections with our living cultures, by offering a range of quality authentic, products that are appropriate representations of Pacific cultural and material practice and knowledge.

Malampa Handicrafts Centre manager

Cindy Kilman, manager of the Malampa Handicraft Centre, Malekula. 

In collaboration with Vanuatu Skills Partnership (VSP) and Vanuatu Department of Industry with support from Pacific Trade Invest (PTI), the Museum Store presents Vanuatu Arts & Crafts. We’ll be showcasing and selling a selection of products from Vanuatuan artisans, celebrating their rich cultural heritage, and providing an opportunity for our visitors to discover unique and authentic products. The showcase will present a range of handmade baskets, bags, fans, containers, jewellery, and much more using traditional and modern weaving skills, carving and beading. The products stocked will highlight skill and craftmanship otherwise unavailable beyond the borders of Vanuatu. 

Long brown woven shopping bags

Shopping baskets made by the Vetimboso Community.

Transport between the islands of Vanuatu and beyond their borders has been severely impacted by extreme weather events and the lasting effects of Covid on Vanuatu’s transportation infrastructure. In collaboration with VSP and supported by VSP creators from the islands of Vanuatu, it is exciting to support an initiative aimed at building trade connections with Vanuatu artists, and to share their crafts with the world – starting right here at Tāmaki Paenga Hira’s Museum Store.

Hokohoko, the Museum Store, stocks items that echo the collections of the Museum. Vetimboso, a small village in the most remote province of Torba, is the home of a basket on display in the permanent collection of Auckland Museum. This community among several others from Malampa, Sanma and Tafea Province have contributed to the showcase. Partnering with Pacific makers and artists allows the store to share beautiful items with our visitors and in exchange for meaningful trade opportunities for their producers enabling greater market reach and income generation.

Vetimboso Craft Association

The Vetimboso Craft Association

While crafting culture is strong in Vanuatu, traditional crafts have been challenged by modern times. VSP has been working with Vanuatu’s Department of Industry and other key stakeholders to facilitate their national artistic production ambitions, aiming to revitalize and strengthen production to meet international quality standards. By expanding the market access of local artisans, the initiative works to the goal of unlocking rural economic growth and supporting women’s economic empowerment.

The Vanuatu Arts & Crafts showcase will be open from Tuesday 9th to Sunday 21st May in the Special Exhibition Store in Te Ao Mārama South Atrium, and available online until stocks last.