Handwritten Kiribati from the papers of Sir Arthur Grimble

Kiribati Language Week 2021

Kam na bane ni mauri – welcome to Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati, Kiribati1 Language Week!

The 32 atolls and coral islands that form the Republic of Kiribati are most often associated with the immediate impacts of global climate change and rising sea levels. However, Kiribati also has a unique oral tradition, art and culture.

To celebrate Kiribati language week, we have put together some highlights that can be found in Te Tumu Herenga.

TV and Radio playlist

Media Services’ Kiribati Language Week playlist showcases a collection of broadcast recordings relating to Kiribati, from 1989 radio interviews reflecting on aspects of life in Kiribati through to traditional tales, news items and documentaries.

Sir Arthur Grimble papers

Filmed copies from the papers of Sir Arthur Grimble, the first cadet administrative officer for the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (now Kiribati), offer another valuable resource to explore. Entitled Gilbertese myths, legends, and oral traditions, the microfilm documents Grimble’s journey in learning the language and oral traditions, genealogies, and myths.

  • This reel (MICROFILM 87-198) may be accessed at any time in the Microtexts Room, Level G, General Library (next to Special Collections).

Explore more

Ti bubutiko am kakawaia n te wiki aei (we ask for your blessings this week).

Compiled by Te Tumu Herenga’s Pacific Language Weeks Group, with special contributions from William Hamill

1 Kiribati is pronounced Kiribas, as the ‘ti’ is pronounced ‘s’.

Feature image of Sir Arthur Grimble’s papers on microfilm. Kiribati written language ca. 1920.