The Museum’s photographer, John Weinstein, has completed a photographic survey of uli figures in FM collections. Researcher Jean-Philippe Beaulieu will publish these photos, along with photos of uli figures from other institutions around the world, in a late-2019 book. FM cares for 15 uli figures and the book will contain around 100. We hope that such a broad survey will help other researchers shed new light on the meaning and use of the figures.
Via the Field Museum Facebook:
“Recently the Māori All Blacks flew in from New Zealand for Rugby Day at Soldier Field. Before the big game, they performed a private jersey presentation ceremony in Ruatepupuke, the Māori Meeting House on the Museum's second floor. As part of the preparation for the visit Luke Crawford, Kaumātua Māori (Māori Cultural Advisor) for the All Blacks, performed karakia—a ceremony to help maintain the spiritual value of the house—and gave a gift of paua abalone shells for use in the continued conservation of the distinctive eyes on the carved ancestor panels.
Our staff are honored to make frequent visits to New Zealand to consult with Māori elders and community advisers with whom the Field co-manages the house—one of only three such Māori meeting houses outside of New Zealand.”
In September 2018, the Museum was fortunate to host a group of representatives from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. OHA Community Engagement Director Nicole (Mehana) Mehanaokalā Hind, Kamakana Ferreira (OHA Compliance,) Shane Palacat-Nelsen (OHA Community Outreach - Kona,) and Kahakai’o Ravenscraft (Na Hoa Aloha O Ka Pu’uhonua o Honaunau) joined collections staff to explore the Field’s Hawaiian collections, enrich the Museum’s understanding of its Hawaiian cultural material, and discuss the future of those objects.
An evening reception to formally welcome the visitors followed. The event on the marae was attended not only by FM staff, but also Filipino-American co-curators and representatives from Chicago's American Indian Center. FM's Community Engagement Coordinator, Debra Yepa-Pappan, greeted the visitors with a native land acknowledgement statement.
Representing Chicago's Hawaiian community were the Executive Director of Aloha Center Chicago, C. Lanialoha Lee and Native Hawaiian Delegate, Ku Kamaeha'o Sumberg of Ke Ali'i Victoria Ka'iulani Hawaiian Civic Club Chicago. Lanialoha and Kamae provided music for the gathering during the reception and dinner.