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Tuvalu Clothes

Episode:48Te Papa Collection:Pacific Cultures

Suggested curriculum levels:2 – 5

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Social Sciences: Identity, Culture, and Organisation Continuity and Change

Description:European missionaries had an impact on the Pacific islands in more ways than one. Their conservative clothes intrigued the near-naked locals. It wasn't long before villagers adopted the new styles, but with a unique Pacific twist.

Questions for students

  1. When and why did the people of Tuvalu start to make and wear European-style clothes?
  2. What specific European styles did the people of Tuvalu make from their own materials? What would they be like to wear in a hot climate? Why do you think they did this?
  3. Why does the presenter say these clothes are 'significant'? What do the clothes tell us about the people and the times in which they were made?
  4. European influences in the Pacific can be seen in many ways, not just through clothes. Identify and describe some other ways in which the arrival of Europeans changed aspects of daily life in Tuvalu or another Pacific nation.
  5. Think about other examples where traditional materials or styles have inspired present-day artists or fashions. Use the 'Connections and conclusions' response template to identify these examples.

Related templates:

Connections and conclusions