Conversations in Creative Cultures Blog Posts

WEEK 2 Task

Upload an image of this example to your blog and write 150-200 words explaining why this example is important.

The Hei Tiki neck pendants are traditional cravings throughout East Polynesia. Often thought to connect with Hine-te-iwiwa, who represented childbirth. “Hine-te-iwaiwa was connected to childbirth, and her Hei Tiki were often given as a projection to pregnant women” (Anderson 40) Although the figures may not portray any particular ancestor; it was highly prized by mothers and fathers of new born children as a symbol of kinship and protection for newly born babies. “They were worn as a memorial to those whom they held most dear.” (Anderson 40) The first tiki on the left belonged to Ngati Rehia, Cheift of Titore. Dated back to the eighteenth century, it was moulded, cut and created by Maori. The images following show the development of the Hei Tiki to the point in which it no longer uses traditional materials or cutting techniques. These artworks outline the european influence upon traditional Tiki and how mass re-production has changed the face and meaning behind them. “Hei Tiki used as a motif for wide range manufacturing and mass production of souvenirs”. (Anderson 41) Significance of each Hei Tiki to centuries of Maori/ Polynesian people and their gods is a extremely important aspect to know when considering modern art forms of Tiki’s. Being respectful of the origins can prevent ignorance and non thoughtful art being produced from our cultured histories.Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 12.22.39 PM.png

Anderson, Atholl. Chapter 1 Ancient Origins. Tangata Whenua An Illustrated History. Ed. Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Aotearoa Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 16 – 41. Print.

Week 3 Task

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 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).

During 1500-1800 AD Maori society in New Zealand was undergoing a shift in ideas and interactions commonly referred to as Pauwaitange or the traditional period. Maori population was rapidly growing, making resources more difficult to obtain. “the demand was probably a corollary of weighted competition and territoriality under continuing  population growth” (Anderson 91) Once common materials like Poumanu were becoming rarer making Maori increasingly territioral, bellicose and perhaps more unequal”(Anderson 72). The growing demand was intensified by climatic deterioration during the traditional phase which made materialistic possessions like Hei tiki Pendants representative of wealth, success and status. (Anderson 91) The Hei Tiki above was made in Kahurangi, and is made from one the of rarest varieties of Pounamu, and is reminiscent of the traditional period as it would have been highly prized by Chiefs as a status of their wealth. “Hei Tiki were made and worn as a mark of status in the traditional period.” (Anderson 94)


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.

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

Week 4 Task 

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). 

Toanga Work : Toanga work is defined by Moko Mead as the physical or intellectual properties/ art works made from the creativity and culture of Matauranga Maori. By Matauranga Maori values the work must be created with pre-existing knowledge and values of Maori culture, as well as descending from personal creativity and integrity. (Taonga works and Intellectual property 30) “In Maori thinking, they are the physical or intellectual products of matauranga Maori made possible through the medium of human industry and creativity.” (Taonga works and Intellectual property 31) Toanga Work upholds culture and traditions of maori geneogly when applying skills in art/design. It passes responsibility of understanding and respect for previous artist and designers into modern work.

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). 

Simply put, intellectual property laws focus on the property and rights of works, while Taonga works values relationships, obligations and tradition. This makes IP laws insufficient to address artwork which disrespects the geneogly of particular Matauranga Maori works.  “The guiding principles of kaitiakitanga on the one hand and property on the other can be seen as different ways of thinking about the same issue” ( Taonga works and Intellectual property 34) The question lies whether Kaitiakitanga of Taonga works from Matauranga Maori should be more involved in the process of protection under IP laws, to inform and avoid potentially offensive work being produced from work closely asscoatied with Matauranga Maori.

“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.

Week 5 Task

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

Anderson’s chapter 9 ‘Wars and survival’ describes the events leading to and during the wars caused by colonisation in New Zealand in the late 1800’s. It also gives perceptive into the trying times experienced by Maori and Pakeha in making a new nation after war. The Key factor contributing to the wars were authority of land ownership, Maori felt connected to their land spiritually, land that was seen by European law as just property. If the land was not physically occupied, or did not officially reside on the land would have no say. (Anderson) Two main battles commenced during this time, one in Taranaki and another in Waikato.  Both resulted in violence due  to invasion of what Maori saw as belonging to the land and British as owning the land. For example, Kingitanga iwi Leaders saw the invasion across the Mangatawhiri river as  “cutting the land’s backbone” and therefore it would be an act of war. (Anderson 263)

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 New Zealand Wars was a moment in which the government clearly sided with the settlers, waging war with Maori who did not allow for further subjugation to the government assumed sovereignty. The war created segregation between pakeha and maori which forced a constructed visual culture from only the knowledge of a colonial perspective. British intent was to convert or eliminate the existing culture and presence, and disregard the beliefs concerning land and visual artworks. “A nation is not a naturally exisiting thing, but a political entity, a construction of discourse.” The construction of nationalism is tied to the construction of flags, mapping and citizenships. This wouldn’t be possible to image without the ownership of all land under the crown because Maori culture did not seem to ‘own’ their land in the same way European did.

Week 6 Task

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).

Anderson explains how Maori visual and material culture could not be fully understood by Pakeha if they couldn’t understand Te Reo Maori. “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). The language barrier also further prevents the cultural identity and origins of Taonga artworks from being represented to a new predominately European colony. The barrier led to what Wheoki called the invention of ‘the way to see New Zealand’ as before British to create a art history, they needed to first invent a New Zealand.  (Wheoki, 5)

Wheoki, Jonathan Mane. “Arts Histories in Aotearoa New Zealand”. Auckland, Elam School of Fine Arts University of Auckland, 2011. Print

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

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).

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 3.54.16 PM

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

 Wayne Youle’s ‘often liked, occasionally beaten’ artwork derives from the taonga artworks of hei tiki pendants. Youle comes from Maori decent, producing works which highlight issues within cultural appropriation of Maori Taonga in a contemporary society. Youle’s work could be considered a maori worldview as is addresses mass reproduction of meaningless versions of traditional hei tikis. Perhaps the use of bright, lollipop coloured tikis play on the ignorance and lack of responsibility pakeha have shown through  mass produced souvenirs for a sense of national identity.



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