237.131 – WEEK 6

1) Both Mane-Wheoki and Anderson describe how Māori visual and material culture has been framed by predominantly western accounts. Discuss this, using both readings to support your discussion (100 words).

In both texts various examples of Māori visual and material culture framed from a western perspective are prominent. In the 1770’s, there are no records of the Europeans by Maori. Maori commentary is only evident in the 1800’s. Right from the beginning, Maori and their culture was recorded from an “extremely one-sided” and “exclusively foreign gaze” (Atholl 133). According to Jonathan Mane Wheoki, the “idea of art arrived with Europeans”, New Zealand’s art history was “colonised and mythologised” by the British. Wheoki questions “Maori art” and the self-consciousness of Maori after European contact (7). Ethnographic and customary art is also the product of European contact, as prior to colonisation there was no need for marking art as “Maori” (Wheoki, 8).

2) Choose an example of 20th century art/design from anywhere in “Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History”. Upload the example to your blog and explain how the work can be considered from a Māori worldview (consider origins, customary practices etc) (100 words).

IMG_2789.JPGWu, Annie. The Price of Change. 2009. Tangata Whenua. N.p.: Bridget Williams, n.d. 41. Print.

The Price of Change by Matthew McIntrye Wilson (Taranaki, Tihati, Ngā Māhanga), reconstructs coins from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands into brooches. Atoll suggests these offer an “alternative narrative of nineteenth-century history” (41). The Hei-Tiki puts Maori in the centre, rather than the opposing western oriented view of Aotearoa’s history. As the Hei-tiki represents the “advent of mankind”, Wilson’s work symbolises the whenua (land) in relation to the Tangata (people) (41). As currency was only introduced after colonisation, it also exemplifies the Crown in relation to Maori. As seen in Wilson’s work, the coin is the head, deemed the most tapu part of the body, it takes a dominant and controlling position.

Works cited

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

Mane-Wheoki, Jonathan. Art’s Histories in Aotearoa New Zealand. Auckland: University of Auckland, 2011. Print.

237.131 – WEEK 6

237.131 – WEEK 5

1) Summarise Anderson, Atholl, Binney, Judith and Harris, Aroha. “Chapter 9: Wars and survival”. Tangata whenua: An illustrated history. Bridget Williams Books, 2014. Print.

Chapter 9 in Tangata Whenua focuses on the New Zealand civil wars and the survival of Maori throughout 1860 to 1872. The civil wars were between the crown and Maori over land ownership, starting with the Taranaki conflict. As the British crown adopted a violent method of resolution, fighting quickly spread through “the middle of the North Island in the 1860s” (256). As the conflict spilt into other areas of the North, more tribes and iwis became involved in the battle. The British “outnumbered and outgunned” the Maori, forcing them to take a defensive position throughout the New Zealand land wars (259). Ending in the Waikato, the wars “Fundamentally came down to the relationship between rangatiratanga and sovereignty” (256). In the process of all this, many resources were confiscated and lives were lost, to this day the consequences are still felt. In particular the bond and relationship between, the crown and Maori is forever tarnished.

2) Using Dick’s lecture and tutorial discussions to help you, explain how you think these events impacted on visual and material culture in Aotearoa/New Zealand. (50 words).

The land wars had an immense impact on visual and material culture in Aotearoa as it exemplified the power of a flag to Maori. Having a flag created a channel of communication that was not restricted by language and culture, it also is a “symbolic marker” of identity (284). Maori quickly grasped the concept of this, prompting the use of flags to shown “independent and sovereign people” (284). In an effort to reconcile, the crown gifted flags to Maori.

Works cited – Harris, Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha. “Ancient Origins.” Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams, 2012. 256-285. Print.


237.131 – WEEK 5

237.131 – Week 4

1.) Choose one term from Moko Mead’s “Ngā Pūtanga o te tikanga: Underlying principals and values”, paraphrase this and explain how it can be applied to art/design. Use citations carefully to differentiate Meads ideas from your own (100 words).

Moko Mead in “Ngā Pūtanga o te Tikanga” states Tapū is the most important element. The notion of Tapū refers to the sacred and religious thought Maori custom holds. Mead suggests Tapū integrates different philosophies and makes an attempt to reconcile apparent contradictions, as well as being strongly connected to the mana of a person. Religion is often intertwined in toi through symbolism and representation, in turn, Tapū is also laced throughout toi. Mead suggests high levels of Tapū are dangerous, tikianga is used to monitor the levels of dangerous Tapū until a “state of ea” is reached (state of peace/equality). Over time, Tikanga and the rules of Tapū have changed, however, the significance of Tapū still remains as it enhances and deepens the process of toi, adding significance and value to the toi itself.

2.) Explain one way intellectual property and copyright laws are insufficient to address the misuse of taonga works. Use “Taonga works and intellectual property” to inform your response, including quotes and citations where appropriate (100 words).

The Copyright act exemplified in “Taonga works and intellectual property” permits the artist or creator to hold the “rights to exploit the work”.  The copyright owner is able to exclude others from their work and control the uses, this includes publishing and copying. However, work in public spaces are excluded from the act, despite The Treaty of Waitangi’s reference to taonga works being protected. This results in works like Whare Whakairo being  unprotected from misuse. “Taonga works that are displayed in a public place but not protected by copyright can be freely copied anyway.” Consequently the creators and artists lose important kaitiakitanga.

Works cited

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.

“Taonga Works and Intellectual Property.” Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: Te Taumata Tuatahi: A Report into Claims concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity. Wellington, N.Z.: Legislation Direct, 2011. 29-59. Print.

237.131 – Week 4

237.131 – Week 3

Choose one example of art or design made during one of the first three periods of New Zealand art history as defined by Hirini Moko Mead (Ngā Kākano – the seeds – (circa 900 to 1200 CE); Te Tipunga – the growth (1200 to 1500 CE); Te Puawaitanga – the flowering (1500–1800 AD)). Upload an image for this example. Identify one aspect of the example’s form that directly relates to its context/art historical period. Describe the example, its context, and the relationship between the form and the context in detail (150 – 200 words).


Haumi. 1975. Aotea Utanganui Museum, South Taranaki. Photo: Richard Wotton.

This Haumi (cover) was used to protect water from entering the canoe prow. Although it was only discovered in 1975, radiocarbon suggests the pieces date back to the 15th century.

In Tangata Whenua by Anderson, Binney and Harris, the study of “tangible but anonymous remains from the past” such as the Haumi is referred to as archaeology, this is important as it provides insight into the past. Archaeology creates “cultural sequence” which directly corresponds to history (73).

As defined by Hirini Moko Mead, 1200 to 1500 CE was Te Tipunga “the growth”, 1500–1800 AD was Te Puawaitanga “the flowering”, the temporal overlap during the 15th century suggests variation in “mainland New Zealand” such as ecological and cultural change (73).

Such variation in culture can be exemplified in the patterning on the Haumi as it displays the development from “geometric ancestral East Polynesian” carving to “curvilinear forms of the late Maori era”. The integration of carving styles on the vast surface differ from much smaller traditional intricate pieces such as a Hei Tiki. Taking into consideration the changing environment of the time, the Haumi indicates a transitional period in carving as well as the Tangata Whenua (people of the land) (73).

Works cited – Harris, Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha. “Ancient Origins.” Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams, 2012. 40-95. Print.

237.131 – Week 3

237.131 – Week 2

Select an art or design example from the first chapter of Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, “Ancient Origins” (2014). Upload an image of this example to your blog and write 150-200 words explaining why this example is important. Use Athol Anderson’s text to support your claims.


Female Deity from Raivavae. N.d. Pukaki Trust, Austral Islands. Tangata Whenua. N.p.: Bridget Williams, n.d. 19. Print.

This carved wooden figure taking shape of a human is known as the Tiki. A more symmetrical “Hei tiki” (Maori) originates from this. The Tiki originated in Eastern Polynesia more than 800 years ago. Tikis are of significance as they provide important insight into Polynesia’s early spiritual culture and dominant ideology of the time and the influence it had on New Zealand.

The Tiki is seen as a “guardian”, it possesses a greater power. It is not only seen as protection but also a way to connect to those who passed, the tiki is described in 1777 by Anderson as a “memorial to those whom they held most dear” (40). The Tiki is highly valued to the Polynesians as it holds a sacred bond between man and spirit.

As Polynesian seafarers were the first to inhabit New Zealand 800 years ago, they were the forebearers of our history. “They connected their ancestry to an extraordinary past in which myth became, by degrees, the mother of history”. From the “spirit land chronicles of Hawaiki” and Maui fishing up the islands to the powerful Tiki, Polynesian culture was intertwined with a higher spiritual realm and implemented into early New Zealand through myths and their ancestral culture (16).

The Tiki is still of spiritual significance, “It remains a symbol that speaks of these islands, as historical taonga, as high art, and within popular culture” (40).

Work cited – Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams, 2012. Print.

237.131 – Week 2