Tokelau Language Week 2021

Tâlofa nî! Mâlô nî! Welcome to Te vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau, Tokelau Language Week Sunday 24 October to Saturday 30 October 2021. This year’s theme is Tokelau! Tapui tau gagana ma tau aganuku, i te manaola ma te lautupuola which means Tokelau! Preserve your language and culture, to enhance spiritual and physical wellbeing. 

Here’s a curated list of resources to help you celebrate the occasion:  

The Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound 50th Anniversary Podcast

Tokelau is part of the realm of New Zealand and is made up of three atolls: Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo. Until 1990 very little had been published about the Tokelau culture and peoples in their own language.[1] [2] 

Associate Professor Judith Huntsman is an honorary professorial research fellow in Social Anthropology at the University of Auckland and a world expert on the history and anthropology of Tokelau. Her long-standing research has led to numerous publications on Tokelau histories and local narratives, migration and decolonisation, social organisation and gender, polities and politics. She is currently the editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society. 

The Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound spoke to Judith about her research and involvement in the Archive over the past 50 years as part of the AMPS 50th Anniversary Podcast, a series of talanoa (conversations) with five significant anthropologists from the University of Auckland in celebration of the Archive’s 50th anniversary. 

Pehe Anamua 

Listen to a Pehe Anamua (ancient song of Tokelau) performed by Palehau Leone in Nukunonu, Tokelau during 1968. From the Judith Huntsman audio collection. 

Discover more 

Marie O’Connell and Huni Mancini, The Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound 


Featured image by Judith Huntsman. Performance of Pehe Anamua by Palehau Leone, Muia Moti, Ana Ineleo, Makaliki Egele and Hei Fatia in Nukunonu, Tokelau, 1967-68. Courtesy of Anthropology Photographic Archive. 

[1] McLean, Mervyn. Weavers of Song: Polynesian Music and Dance. University of Hawaii Press, 1999. 

[2] Moyle, Richard. ‘Allan Thomas, Ineleo Tuia, and Judith Huntsman, eds., “Songs and Stories of Tokelau: An Introduction to the Cultural Heritage” (Book Review), Pacific Studies; Laie, Hawaii Vol. 14, Iss. 4,  (Dec 1, 1991): 176.