A1 Week 6 Blog Task

  1. The idea of ‘art’ being a European concept is an important aspect to think about when viewing the works of both Pakeha and Maori visual culture about the time of colonization. European journals and writings better displayed the history and culture of the settlers more than the oral narratives (Anderson, 132). This means that Maori culture was more seen from an outsiders perspective. As art is a westernized idea, the indigenous views was less praised by people compared to the European artist views. Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries this type of art was also seen as primitive art, not being among the mainstream art world (Wheki,7). Thus being displayed within international or even national galleries was and remains to have a rare appearance.

A 20th Century Art Example with a Maori worldview:


Te Mihaia te Tuatahi, Arnold Manaaki Wilson, Wooden (puriri) Sculpture. 1965.

The sculpture is a Maori response to the modernist movement during the 20th Century. The clean and simplified form gives similarities to the works of the famous sculptor Constantin Brâncusi. The subject of the work is based on the prophet and land rights activist Rue Kenana whose one his main purposes was to reclaim the Tuhoe land taken by the European settlers. This occurred  at the beginning of the 19oo’s where in the past century much of tapu tribal land was confiscated from the Maori settlers. This time in history has mainly been brodcasted through early Pakeha artworks and scriptures.

Work Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. “Chapter 5: In the Foreign Gaze”  Tangata whenua: An Illustrated History. Pages 132- 159. Bridget Williams Books, 2014. Print.

Wheoki, J.M. “Art Histories in Aotearoa New Zealand.” Journal of Art Historiography 4 (2011):1-12. Print.


A2 Week 5 Blog Task Chapter 9: Wars and Survival Summary

In the 1860 and 1870’s, a civil war between the Maori settlers and the Crown occurred in reaction to British Sovereignty working to colonize the country. The settlers set out to protect their land whilst the Europeans sought to attain this land through with violence and assertion. Beginning in Taranaki and different conflicts spiraling out from there was the selling and claiming rights between these two opposing groups. In regard to what was written in the treaty the Government sought to relinquish this and confiscate the settlers land to gain future security and power (Binney, 264).The Europeans ultimately won over the most of the Maori’s land. Loss of lives of women and children, the burning of meeting houses and slaughter of innocent soldiers was the result of this ten year conflict. “Tamihana wrote: ‘I discovered that this would be a very great war, because it was conducted in such a pitiless manner'” (Binney, 266).

Explain how you think these events impacted on visual and material culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The visual and material culture in New Zealand had been mainly Pakeha artworks due to the strong influence of the European sovereignty that made them become the dominating race. Therefore the Maori point of view  of these events  was represented until later in the 20th Century. Maori art then has been largely focused on the stories of colonization from their ancestors and relatives around this time more than other events in history.

Work Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Binney, Judith and Harris, Aroha.”Chapter 9: Wars and Survival”. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. Print.

A1_ Week 3 Blog Task

Aotea Utanganui Museum of South Taranaki, Photographed by Richard Wotton. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Page 73.

This canoe with rare geometric ancestral carvings is a piece of that reflects the second phase, the Transitional or the growth period in Maori art history. This object was said to be created during the fifteenth century (Anderson, 73). It contains the geometric styles of both Polynesian ancestry and later Maori era styles. This demonstrates the change that occurred during this period in Maori history. During this time between 1300-1600 AD, it was a time of adaptation where there was an introduction of new ideas and materials from the still relatively new environment. Anderson states that not many tools or belongings that the Polynesians brought with them survived but evident markings on objects, similar to this canoe show their cultural carvings (76).  On this object, the Polynesian style is reflected with the geometric straight lining as seen on the bottom left photograph. The new styles during the Maori era are the more circular patterning shown in the bottom right photograph.

Work Cited:

Anderson, Atholl. “Pieces of the Past” Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand. Bridget Williams Books.Pages 70-101. 2014. Print.

A1_Week 2 Task: ‘Ancient Origins’ example

heitiki pardington
Heitiki (female), Fiona Pardington, Ngai Tahu. Banks Peninsula Area, Okains Bay Museum, silver gelatin print. 2002.

The Hei tiki is a Maori motif that has been manufactured into neck pendant that is said to represents the comings of mankind. Women often wear this whilst during childbirth as it is connected to Hine-te-iwaiwa, the wife and mother (Anderson, 40). The artist Pardington of the artwork above has photographed a series of these figures for the purpose of bringing these praised upon values towards the public view. The importance of this figure to New Zealand and the culture is its spiritual resemblance of the past and present, as stated by the artist. Although it was seen to be rare before the arrival of the Europeans, it was still an important taonga to the Maori people. The manufacturing of these pendants was then increased with the European settlers due to its significance towards the land and the culture. To this day the hei tiki has been used in a variety of jewelery and created in a range of different materials. Originally mainly made from pounamu, greenstone at this time the addition of iron was incorporated (Anderson, 40). It has often been used by many artists in the contemporary art world to represent an important the Maori motif of taonga in New Zealand.

Work Cited:

Anderson, Atholl “Chapter 1: Ancient Origins”. Tangata Whenua An Illustrated History. Aotearoa, New Zealand. Bridget Williams Books. Pages 16-41.  2014. Print.