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Judith Huntsman Tokelau recordings

Identifier: AMPS 2021/03

Scope and Contents

Collection comprises the audiovisual component of Judith Huntsman’s extensive research on the history and ethnography of Tokelau. It includes audio and video recordings of stories and accounts, songs, interviews, and events recorded by Huntsman during her fieldwork in Tokelau and New Zealand.

Previously archival material was deposited to format-specific archives, resulting in a collection being dispersed. This has happened with Huntsman's material. The bulk of her archival material has been separated and is held in the Special Collections 'Judith Huntsman papers', and includes transcriptions by Toloa Poasa. An extensive collection of photographs taken by Huntsman during her fieldwork can be found in the 'University of Auckland, Department of Anthropology photographic archive records', also held in Special Collections. Original numbering has been retained in the notes so that material can be cross-referenced between collections.

In addition to Huntsman’s own recordings, the collection also contains material created by Antony Hooper and Allan Thomas, with whom she worked closely over the years. Related archival material can be found in Hooper and Thomas collections in the Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound.


  • 1967 - 1991


To request or comment

To request access to items in this collection, or to provide comment or corrections, please complete the following: Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound request form

Conditions Governing Access

PARTLY RESTRICTED. Access to items marked 'Restricted' requires the permission of the AMPS Team Leader.

Biographical / Historical

Judith Weber Huntsman was born in Chicago, Illinois in August 1935. She attended Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, and then Brown University, Rhode Island, graduating with a M.A. in Anthropology in 1963 and a PhD from Bryn Mawr in 1969.

Huntsman first visited Tokelau in 1967 to undertake 12 months fieldwork for her PhD thesis 'Kin and coconuts on a Polynesian atoll', which examined the socio-economic organisation of Nukunonu. Working primarily in Atafu and Nukunonu, she undertook a further 12 months fieldwork in 1969 and 1970 followed by shorter visits in 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1997. Huntsman described her fieldwork as recording slices of time which together document a period of great change. She has written widely about Tokelau, including 'Tokelau: a historical ethnography', written with Antony Hooper in 1996, and 'The future of Tokelau: decolonising agendas, 1975–2006', written with Kelihiano Kalolo and published in 2007.

In 1970, Huntsman joined the staff of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Auckland. In 2001 she retired as an associate professor and took up an appointment as Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in Social Anthropology. She has served on the council of the Polynesian Society, and since 1975 has been an editor of its journal the Journal of the Polynesian Society several times.


2.1 metres (Includes 57 open reel tapes, 59 audiocassettes, 2 videocassettes, 1 tape recorder and manual)

Language of Materials




This collection is arranged in order of deposit, which occurred over a number of years. Generally this represents a chronological arrangement. Original titles, language and terms have been lifted from documentation and card catalogue. Original numbering is retained in notes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Material donated by Judith Huntsman in increments between the years 1981 and 2018.

Related Materials

Antony Hooper recordings. 1971-1978. AMPS 2022/05.

Allan Thomas recordings. 1980-1992. AMPS 2022/88.

Video reproductions of transparencies selected from photographs taken by Judith Huntsman, Antony Hooper and Marti Friedlander in Tokelau. 1967-1971. Original catalogue number: VE0721-0723.

Selected bibliography

1. Songs and stories of Tokelau: an introduction to the cultural heritage.
Allan Thomas, Ineleo Tuia, Judith Huntsman (1990). Songs and stories of Tokelau: an introduction to the cultural heritage. Wellington: Victoria University.
Inventory of Judith Huntsman's Tokelau recordings
In Progress
Huni Mancini
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archive of Māori and Pacific Sound, University of Auckland Repository

Level 3, General Library
5 Alfred Street
Private Bag 92109
Auckland 1010 New Zealand
+64 9 923 5008