Week 6 Blog Tasks

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

Maori visual and material culture has been framed by predominately western accounts which have therefore separated Maori art from European art, with very minimal representation of Maori art in art galleries. Mane-Wheoki explains that the minimal representation of Maori artwork throughout New Zealand art galleries is because, ‘’it (Maori art) is still categorised as, essentially, ethnographic (an individual culture)’’. (Mane-Wheoki, 8). Maori art became dominated by European art shortly after the signing of the treaty. An entry of ‘Maori Art’ in the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand by Jock McEwan states, ‘’It is the habit of ethnologists to study Maori art as if it had come to an abrupt end on the arrival of European settlers in New Zealand and to regard post-European work as being of little importance’’. (McEwan, 6). This statement shows how the European began to take charge of New Zealand after the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi, and how there was no common ground between the Maori and European. The lack of communication between Maori and European could also be because of the language barrier at the time of the arrival of the European. Anderson quotes, ‘’The language gulf prevented Europeans from understanding the intricacies of tapu, and they were not invited to observe ritual practices of magic or divination. (Anderson, 133). Therefore, the european did not have a clear understanding of Maori culture and therefore kept to themselves.

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.

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


Fig. 1. Wayne Youle. Often Liked, Occasionally Beaten (detail). 2004. Resin and cardboard sticks. Private collection. {Suite} Gallery, Wellington, reproduced courtesy of the artist. 

Figure one is a 20th-century example of art/design by multimedia artist, Wayne Youle. This art piece consists of resin tikis on cardboard sticks which have been coloured every colour in the rainbow. Youle creates work to illustrate the relationships and differences between Pakeha and Maori. Anderson explains how Youle’s work, Often Liked, Occasionally Beaten, ‘’alludes to the more sinister undertones of family violence’’. (Anderson, 41). This work would be considered as historical and would obtain a lot of meaning if viewed from a Maori worldview, as the tiki symbol is very symbolic and is considered taonga (treasure). Whereas from a western point of view, this work would likely be viewed as a fun, lighthearted, pop culture art piece due to the bright colours and the use of lollipop sticks.

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


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