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Kirikara Koraua

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Assistant Museum Curator

Country: Kiribati

ITP Year: 2023


Kirikara’s role as Assistant Museum Curator sees her support with conservation, collection care, and exhibitions. She also works on schools and community programmes and leads tours of the museum.

Currently, Kirikara is working on an exhibition about types of Kiribati fishing gear used in the past. She is conducting research for the exhibition using published books and cultural documentations shared from cultural knowledge holders more than 20 years ago. She often works together with these cultural knowledge holders on conservation work by repairing and restoring collections that have been damaged by using local materials received from native plants such as coconut leaves, coconut fibre, pandanus leaves and more.

Kirikara also carries out cultural mapping work at outer islands, collecting more cultural collections that have significant stories and information related to the island or an individual’s identity as well as our Kiribati heritage. She also collaborates with communities to make replica artefacts.

Kirikara has completed the course, Professional Certificate on Heritage Management from the University of the South Pacific and is continuing her studies for a degree level qualification in Pacific Arts and Heritage Studies. She is currently studying a further course; Weaving a Net (Work) of Care for Oceanic Collections: A Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Museum Institute which concentrates on museum theory such as collection care, conservation, and exhibitions. Kirikara attended online courses on Preservation of Tribal Cultural Materials in Tribal Collections and Developing a Collections Management Plan for Tribal Collections and participated in Collections, Conservation and Sustainable Development (CollAsia 2022) in Cambodia.

Her professional interests are working with communities and cultural knowledge holders to preserve and protect collections, protecting historical and cultural sites from any disaster risks by using traditional skills and knowledge, as well as applying theories, materials, and tools for sustainability and development.

At the British Museum
During Kirikara’s time on the International Training Programme she was based in the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and spent her UK partner placement at Glasgow Museums.

As an ongoing project throughout the six-week programme, fellows were asked to use their existing skills and experience, and the knowledge gained throughout the annual programme, to create, develop, and propose a new interpretation for an object currently on display in the British Museum. Working in her departmental group, Kirikara used their object, a hunting coat made from deer skin, to emphasise the importance of working with the community of origin when displaying objects significant to that culture.

Kirikara’s participation on the International Training Programme was generously supported by the Aall Foundation.