Week 3 Blog Task

Choose one example of art or design made during one of the first three periods of New Zealand art history as defined by Hiring Moko Mead (Nga Kakano – the seeds – (circa 900 to 1200 CE); Te Tipunga – the growth (1200 to 1500 CE); Te Puawaitanga – the flowering (1500 to 1800 AD)). Upload an image of 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).

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Fig. 1. Maker Unknown. Pounamu hei tiki made from kahurangi. N.d.. Pounamu Design. Te Papa, ME002100. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Ed. Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Aotearoa: Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 95.

The third period is known as Te Puawaitanga (the flowering) or the traditional period, took place between 1500 and 1800 AD. These three periods; settlement, expansion and rapid change, and traditional, were used as a framework to represent New Zealand’s pre-European archaeology. (Anderson 72). Archaeology is a study of the history of humans by analysing the different artefacts, objects and other historical works that were made at the time. Figure 1 is an image of an artwork made during the third period of New Zealand art history. The image is of a very rare Pounamu hei tiki made from Kahurangi. Pounamu, or otherwise known as greenstone, refers to types of stone found in New Zealand which Maori regard as treasures. During the traditional period, Pounamu was worn as pendants as a mark of status or dominance. (Anderson 94). This particular Pounamu illustrates a tiki with its head tilted to the right and with one hand in its mouth. One aspect of the Pounamu that directly relates to its context and art period (traditional, 1500 to 1800 AD) is the tiki symbol. Tiki’s were typical late artefact types during the third time period. During the traditional time period, there was a high demand for items that represented wealth and status. This demand was likely due to the competition that came with the increasing population. Pounamu, just like the tiki illustrated in figure 1 were worn as a mark of status, therefore Pounamu was very popular during the traditional period when Maori were wanting to enhance their status and appear more wealthy. (Anderson 91).

WORKS CITED:

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

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