Week 2 Blog Task

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.

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Fig. 1. Maker Unknown. Dark green/black serpentine pendant. N.d. Carving. Canterbury Museum, E148 79. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Ed. Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Aotearoa: Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 31.

The disc pendant captured above is a detailed jewellery carving into dark green/black serpentine which was sourced from Okains Bay, Banks Peninsula. The carving artwork consists of two large fish which are believed to be illustrating the southern bluefin tuna. The two tuna fish are said to be representing New Zealand and the shapes of the North and South Islands seen where the heads of the two fish meet. ( Anderson 31). The two fish are acknowledging the significance of place and belonging, whilst representing the journey or history of how New Zealand came to existence. This art example is important as it represents colonisation and the beginning of a new place. The fish represent colonisation and New Zealand as Anderson often refers to islands being fished up. For example, when Anderson tells the story of the family of Maui she explains that the youngest son, Mauipotiki, fished up many islands in the shape of fish. (Anderson 16). The fishing of the islands was the starting of colonisation in New Zealand. After the death of Maui, the canoes of tangata whenue began to arrive on the shores of New Zealand where the people began to form a new population.


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


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