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

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