Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Cruise Day 8: Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand: "More Scottish than Scotland," Part 2 - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Continued from Part 1...

Inside the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, we passed a coffee shop, gift store, and washrooms before the hall with traditional greetings in the form of a greenstone boulder and a gateway arch. Explanations are in order.

The photo below is the kohatu pounamu (greenstone boulder) known as Te Tauraka o ka Waka. It is imbued with the mauri (life force) of the Museum. It's said that touching and rubbing the stone with water will help maintain its vital energy. In the photo, you can see a roundish indentation with small openings on the table to the lower left side of the rock; water bubbles up there that you can use to rub the stone. Doing this brings out the pounamu's color and clarity and allows its mauri to flow.

Te Tauraka o ka Waka is cared for by the Museum's Kai Tahu Advisory Committee on behalf of its owners, Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

Te Tauraka o ka Waka, mauri stone, from the
Whakatipua area.

Rubbing the stone with water is a cool ritual that starts the museum's exploration. Next, we came to the Te Kohaka a Toroa, carved gateway. 

"Te Kohaka a Toroa*," (the Toroa Nest)
carved by Jame York of Ngai Tahu, Kati
Mamoe, Waitaha and Nga Puhi.

Mai i te ao tawhito ki te ao turoa. From the primeval beginnings of the Universe to the enduring natural world of light.

This waharoa (carved gateway) extends its manaakitaka (hospitality) and kaitiakitaka (stewardship) to you by way of the four Araiteuru runaka (tribal counsels of the coast of Ara Te Uru) depicted in the ama (uprights).

The pare (lintel) is toroa (Royal albatross) whose outstretched wings offer whakaruruhau (shelter) and is representative of the many peoples who have journeyed across the sea to settle here in Otago. 

The whakairo (carved motifs) depict knowledge and strength, the pathways traversed, and the kaika and nohoaka (dwelling sites) of Kai Tahu. They also depict Tamanuitera (the sun) whose shining rays of light are representative of new beginnings.

Once through the gateway, we learned the history of Dunedin/Otepoti. The name Toitu takes us back to Dunedin's beginnings. When Otago's pioneers first stepped ashore here in 1848, their feet squelched into the mud of the Toitu estuary. The Toitu was a stream that ran down the hills and into the harbor, creating the ragged shoreline and shingly beach of early Dunedin. Around 1858, the stream was channeled underground and quickly forgotten. The Toitu is still there, mostly flowing through pipes past the museum on its way to the sea.

Carved tauihu (canoe prow). 
Wharerau (muttonbirders stand).

Below is a description of the muttonbirder's stand, a dwelling of great importance to the native people (Southern Maori) before European arrival, especially those living in the colder southern climate. 

The description of the Wharerau is in the photo above.

Remote Dusky Sound which we sailed through yesterday, was the site of several New Zealand "firsts." The first European sealing gang set up there in 1792. During their 10-month stay, they built the country's first European-style housing and its first European ship, the Providence. 

Seals and whales were the primary targets of the first European traders in New Zealand. Sealers operated in the south from the 1790s to about 1820, by which time they had just about wiped out their prey. Seals were clubbed to death and their skins were taken for the clothing industry in Europe.

Whales were chased through coastal waters in rowing boats, harpooned, finished off with lances, and dragged ashore for butchery. They too were hunted to near-extinction. Whaling on the South Island was finished by the late 1830s.

Whalers row boat.

Following the discovery of gold in 1861 and the ensuing Gold Rush, new arrivals poured into the province of Otago. These newcomers included continuing migrant arrivals from Britain but most were gold seekers from Australia, who added a different character to the place. The journey from Britain to Otago by sailing ship was the longest migration voyage in the world. In the photo below, you can see what steerage accommodations looked like.

Steerage sleeping quarters on the sailing ships.


The gold rushes ended the small-scale settlement of the first 12 years, dominated by Scots and their Free Church Presbyterianism. In the Gallery room below, only portraits of those who arrived before the end of 1864 qualified for display. The wealthiest had their portraits portrayed at the top of the Gallery; others are displayed in chronological order.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum Gallery.

The story about the exhibit below is of one settler, Duncan Sutherland.  Duncan was born at Clyne, Brora, Sutherland, Scotland in 1839. He came to Otago in 1868 to manage Omarama Station, a large sheep station of 180,000 acres. He also managed Morven Hills and Ardgowan stations. While in Edinburgh, Scotland, he won a medal at the Highland Games for the best-dressed Highlander.

Waitaki Scot.

Even though we are from across the globe, many of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum displays from the 19th and 20th centuries remind us of growing up in the United States. Commonalities include rapid expansion in fashion, transportation, and art; world-class expositions, refinement of culture, and technological advances. 

Female fashion choices.


Dunedin was nicknamed "Mud-edin" early on due to the Toitu stream flowing through downtown. The streets were very muddy. The dress below had a special feature to keep it "mud-free in Mud-edin." Notice the raised hem of the dress. This distinctive feature helped keep the dress clean by lifting up the skirt when crossing a muddy street. It worked like a Roman blind with a series of cords sewn into the skirt's lining. When the wearer pulled on the cord handle (secreted in a pocket at the front), it lifted the skirt out of harm's way.

Wealth from gold transformed "Mud-edin" into the nation's commercial capital. Dunedin was a city of handsome buildings, bustling with innovative businesses hard at work exporting and manufacturing.

This dress's hem could be raised to
keep it out of the muddy streets.

Cast iron Albion printing press made in
England in 1858. It was used to print
the Otago Witness newspaper.

International exhibitions in 1865 and 1889 attracted thousands of visitors to Dunedin - what they encountered was New Zealand's leading city. 

But, late 19th-century Dunedin wasn't all fancy houses and a booming economy. The Devil's Half Acre was the darker side of town with slums of rundown shacks, rampant with disease. Here, not far from the city center, the unemployed, an aging Chinese community, drug and alcohol addicts, prostitutes, gamblers, and neglected children lived out a desperate existence.

In 1923, architect Edmund Anscombe suggested that Dunedin should host an exhibition that would eclipse all others previously staged in New Zealand. Construction began in the winter of 1924. By November 17, 1925, all was ready for a grand opening. The Exhibition buildings included seven pavilions grouped along the sides of a Grand Court. The Grand Court led to a Festival Hall topped by a magnificent dome. Construction was completed in 13 months, well ahead of schedule. The only permanent building was an art gallery. 

An Amusement Park, comprising seven main attractions and 63 side shows, was located on the west side of the grounds. Six of the main attractions were brought in from North America.

The 1925 New Zealand and South Seas
International Exhibition.

These look very familiar.

Trolley.

Beatlemania in Dunedin, 1964. Photo is
from the Otago Daily Times.

Progression of computing.

Old bicycles.

New Zealand-assembled vehicles began to appear in the 1920s and increased dramatically in the 1930s. The photos below include vehicles manufactured in Britain and New Zealand.

Austin 7, 1924.

Singer Bantam.

A Morris 8 Series E, made in Britain about 1948.

Custom-built caravan (trailer).

Supercharged Triumph 6T drag bike.


1954 Dennis F8 fire pumper.

Another large section of the museum is dedicated to Otago's military history which started with Volunteer units in 1860. Wars covered in the museum were South Africa's Boer War (1899-1902), WWI - The Great War (1914-1918), and WWII (1939-1945) - New Zealand Expeditionary Force and New Zealand Scottish Regiment in particular.


The Boer War.

The Great War.

World War I - In Flanders Fields.

A wall of knitted poppies.

World War II.

This museum is amazing. We spent over two hours here and knew we needed to get moving to finish our walk throughout Dunedin before the last shuttle to the boat at 3 pm. 

Continued in Parts 3 and 4...

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