Week 9 Task

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Parekowhai, Michael. Kapa Haka (Pakaka). 2004. Automotive paint on fibreglass. Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland.

‘Kapa Haka’, by Michael Parekowhai is a comment on racial stereotypes of Maori in New Zealand. Stereotypes prevalent in this work relate to Melanie Wall’s theory of current stereotypes having evolved from colonial stereotypes. This piece consists of 15 life-size fibre glass models of Parekowhai’s brother. The piece intends to comment on the stereotype of Maori as large, strong and often seen in jobs as security guards or bouncers (Auckland Art Gallery). By portraying this stereotype Parekowhai is playing on Wall’s ‘Natural Athlete’ stereotype stemming from Maori being described in colonial times as ‘savage’. Parekowhai comments on the irony that while in these positions of protection as bouncers or security they are often protecting white wealth while working for minimum wage (Te Ara). By naming this piece ‘Kapa Haka’ it links it back to positive affirmations of Maori culture and ideas of protection, identity and culture (Auckland Art Gallery).

References:

“Kapa Haka (Pakaka).” Auckland Art Gallery. Auckland Council, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2016.

Mark Derby, ‘Māori humour – te whakakata – Māori humour in the 2000s’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Web. 08 Oct. 2016.

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References:

Higgins, R., & Moorfield, J., (2004). Ngā tikanga o te marae. In Ki te Whaiao: An Introduction to Māori Culture and Society. Auckland: Pearson Education New Zealand Limited, pp.73-74.

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