Week 6 Task

Part 1:

Maori visual culture has been generalised despite restrictions preventing a thorough understanding. Historically, observation was limited by geographic location and language barriers which prevented the understanding of ‘intricate’ concepts (Anderson 132). These recordings ‘hardly constitute a balanced picture’ (Anderson 132). Recorded through a Eurocentric world view, Maori visual culture has historically been dismissed as ethnographic artefacts as opposed to art in the Western sense (Mane-Wheoki 8). An exhibition of customary Maori art recontextualised Maori visual and material culture when shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Mane-Wheoki 7). Whether or not the distinction between ‘art’ and ‘Maori art’ needs to be made is a contested issue.

Works cited:

Anderson, Atholl. “In the Foreign Gaze.” Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. 132-162. Print.

Wheoki, Jonathan Mane. “Art’s Histories in Aotearoa in New Zealand.” Journal of Art Historiography 4 (2011): 1-12. PDF.

Part 2:

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This 1980 poster was designed to promote the study of te reo. As Maori language is traditionally oral, it is an integral part of Maori culture. This poster holds historical significance – the Native Schools Act 1867 introduced schools for Maori children with a policy of assimilation and a primary goal of teaching english (Binney 294). These laws were described by Claudia Orange as ‘the most serious attack on the vitality of Maori life (Orange 98). Therefore this poster symbolises the fact while political independence was lost, Maori identity and cultural autonomy survived the impact of Europe (Belich 22).

Works cited:

Belich, James, ‘Myth, Race and Identity in New Zealand’, New Zealand Journal of History, 31(1), April 1997

O’Malley, Vincent, and Alan Ward. “Chapter 10 The Land and the People.”Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. By Judith Binney. New Zealand: Bridget Williams, 2012. 286-318. Print.

Orange, Claudia. An Illustrated History of the Treaty of Waitangi. Wellington, N.Z.: Bridget Williams, 2004. Print.

Sinclair, Keith. The Oxford Illustrated History of NZ. N.p.: Oxford UP, 1994. Print.

Week 5 Task

Part 1:

James Belich differentiates between nominal and substantive sovereignty discussing  changes in power between Maori and Pakeha in the years between 1830-1867. Belich emphasises that while British sovereignty was claimed with the signing of the Treaty in 1840, this was merely nominal. Substantive sovereignty wasn’t achieved until 1860 (Belich 181). This opposes the orthodox, Eurocentric narrative of New Zealand history which portrays Maori as the victim of fatal impact (Belich 197). Belich accounts the colonial office’s decision to form a treaty as a consequence of the myth of empire (Belich 187). Essentially Belich argues against fatal impact theory by showing that through five different versions of the Treaty, Maori (though not all) accepted British in New Zealand through acceptance of agents of state, land sales and the signing of the treaty. Maori essentially held substantive sovereignty until 1860 (Belich 181). However, the British gradually undermined Maori power through conquest, swamping and conversion through Europeanisation and subordination (192).

Resources:

Belich, James. “Chapter 8 Empire?” Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders, from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century. Honolulu: U of Hawai’i, 1996. 179-203. Print.

Part 2:

The Treaty of Waitangi allowed the British to establish their own concept of New Zealand as a nation or ‘imagined community’ (Whyte). This is visually represented in our flag which excludes Maori through the use of the Union Jack (Whyte). The predominant use of blue as opposed to red which Maori associate with symbolises ongoing inequality between races established by the treaty (Whyte).

Resources:

Whyte, Dick. “Aotearoa, Colonisation and Visual Culture.” Conversations in Creative Cultures. Massey University, Wellington. Aug. 2016. Lecture.

 

Week 4 Task

The term ‘tapu’ refers to a concept ever present in Tikanga. Established in Maori religious thought, the concept is inseparable from mana (Mead 30). The term relates to the idea of sacredness, respect and restriction (Te Ara).  The ideals and values relating to tapu are no longer clear. Regardless, tapu is extremely significant and meaningful to Tikanga today. Closely linked to mana and therefore respect, it is important to consider tapu in an art/design context to prevent issues of cultural appropriation. As the values of tapu are not explicit, an artist or designer referencing Maori culture would have to research thoroughly to ensure their practice did not breach tapu.

Intellectual property and copyright laws are insufficient to address the misuse of taonga works due to the difference in Maori and Western ideas of ownership and property. What Westerners view as ownership, a concept we are largely familiar with, Kaitiakitanga view as responsibility, obligation and kinship (Waitangi Tribunal 34). Issues then arise when the Maori concept of ‘ownership’ does not fit with the conditions of copyright law, in particular having to be ‘written, recorded or fixed in some material form’ (Waitangi Tribunal 35). As a lot of mātauranga Maori is in the form of oral traditions this does not comply with conditions of copyright law.

References:

Mead, Hirini Moko. Chapter 2: Ngā Pūtake o te Tikanga – Underlying Principles And Values. Tikanga Māori: Living By Māori Values. Aotearoa: Huia Publishers, 2003. 25-34. Print.

New Zealand. Waitangi Tribunal. Ko Aotearoa Tenei: Te Taumata Tuatahi : A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Maori Culture and Identity. Rep. N.p.: Legislation Direct, 2011. Print.

Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal. Te Ao Mārama – the natural world – Mana, tapu and mauri, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 22-Sep-12
URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/te-ao-marama-the-natural-world/page-5

Week 3 Task

IMG_5677This is a pounamu (greenstone) hei tiki. This hei tiki is made from kahurangi, one of the rarest types of greenstone (Anderson 94). It is a green colour with moments of brilliant green and has a translucent quality.

This pounamu is from the traditional era (AD 1500 – 1769), also referenced as Te Puawaitanga – the flowering (AD 1500-1800) by Hirini Moko Mead. This artefact relates to its place in New Zealand’s art historical period through its portrayal of status and mana. The traditional phase sparked demand for items which were representative of wealth and status (Anderson 91). This demand was most likely caused by the increasing population growth which subsequently led to competition and territoriality among tribes (Anderson 91).

A specific aspect of this artefact which relates to its art historical period is the material it is made out of. Pounamu was a ‘scarce luxury good’ found on the west coast in Te Waipounamu (Anderson 91). Therefore, this artefact was likely created out of the demand for items which were representative of wealth and status. The artefact conveys this wealth and status through not only its material but the skill shown in the carving.

References:

Harris, Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Harris, Aroha. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Wellington: Bridget Williams, 2014. Print.

237.131 Week 2 Task

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This image is of a tōtara wood carving. Its significance is based largely on the ambiguity of its style allowing us to understand the convergence of cultures in New Zealand at the time of its creation. The carving, thought to be a lintel or part of a gateway references multiple cultural design aspects (Anderson 37). Discovered between Kaitāia and Ahipara, the carving resonates with the high shouldered Easter Island figurines shown to Captain James Cook in East Polynesia (Anderson 37). The carving also resonates with the Maori style of chevroned amulets (Anderson 37). This carving in particular resembles a Maori carving found in Whangamumu of a squatting human figure (Anderson 37). This similarity is important as it allows us to place the carving in a particular time and understand more about the dynamic interchange of culture that was occurring. From analysing the two cultural design elements meeting, we can place the carving in the middle centuries of the pre-European era due to its resemblance to the chevron style of the time (Anderson 37). This merging of two visual cultures is symbolic of the withstanding of similarities between Maori and East Polynesian social organisation through to the early contact period of Maori and Pakeha.

References:

Harris, Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Harris, Aroha. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Wellington: Bridget Williams, 2014. Print.