Week 8 Task


Westra, Ans. Washday at the Pa. 1964. Te Papa, Wellington.

Washday at the Pa, a children’s book by Ans Westra was an example of a representation of poverty or wealth in Aotearoa used in Dr. Greg Gilbert’s lecture. Washday at the Pa consisted of photographs depicting the lives of a rural Maori family. When published in 1964, a period of rapid change to Maori lifestyles with many making the move to the cities, it’s launch was ‘caught up in a force field of competing and antagonistic readings’ (McDonald 76). This book caused a great deal of controversy due to accusations of stereotyping rural Maori families as ‘poor’. Another reason for contention was due to the fact that Maori were being represented by a Pakeha. This stereotype was perceived by the Maori Women’s Welfare League as dangerous due to the implications that all rural Maori were unable to provide for themselves (Gilbert).


Gilbert, Greg, Dr. “Economic Inequality in Aotearoa and the Role of Art and Design.” Massey University, Wellington. 23 Sept. 2016. Lecture.

McDonald, Lawrence. Camera Antipode: Ans Westra: Photography as a Form of Ethnographic & Historical Writing: A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Social Anthropology Programme, School of People, Environment & Planning, Massey University, Manawatu. Thesis. 2012. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.



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