237131_A1_WEEK 6 TASK 2_28/08/2016


Emily Karaka
Karaka, Emily. Local Government Tea Party. 1997, Acrylic on hessian on board, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland.


Emily Karaka’s work above deals with her iwi, Ngai Tai’s relationship with the Treaty of Waitangi in contemporary society. The work addresses the treaty from a Maori worldview, the confrontational and vibrant acrylic colours challenge perceptions of the treaty as a celebratory, founding document. And rather something that lead to the theft of Ngai Tai’s kaitiakitanga of their land. Karaka describes her painting process as her patu (Anderson 449), a term for a club which links back to her tupuna, both of them using their form of weapons, in her case a symbolic weapon used to challenge others opinions.

Work Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. Print.


237131_A1_WEEK 6 TASK 1_28/08/2016

Western framing of Maori culture has resulted in Maori art being commonly viewed from a western worldview. However it is evident that the two cultures are completely different and view material culture in a completely different sense. James Cook’s early accounts of Maori refer to them as a ‘tribal culture’ (Anderson 138) and captures much of the material aspect of material culture, but not so much the culture aspect. Even the framing of Maori art as ‘Maori art’ is a western concept as Maori learned the differentiation between their own aesthetic concepts and European art (Mane-Wheoki 7).

Outsiders of a culture often assume they can view the culture from an unbiased and objective perspective as they are not part of the culture themselves. However the’outsiders’ interpretations of the culture are always shaped in some way, by their own ideologies and cultural background. Outsiders can even shape and frame other cultures view of their own art from an internal standpoint.


Works Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. Print.

Mane-Wheoki, Jonathan. “Art’s Histories in Aotearoa New Zealand.” Journal of Art Historiography, 4, 2011.


237131_A1_WEEK 5_23/08/2016

Chapter 9 follows the Maori land wars from 1860-72 in the Taranaki region. In the 1800’s the British Crown promised British settlers packages of land to encourage their migration to New Zealand. However this land was already under Maori kaitiakitanga and war broke out between the two parties. While the war was concentrated in Taranaki, it became a national issue with iwi from around the north island supporting Te Ati (Anderson 256). If the Crown could seize land from Te Ati, what was to stop them from taking land from every iwi in Aotearoa? After a costly battle on both sides, the Crown forces overpowered tanagta whenua , Te Ati and eventually many other iwis were forced off some of their most productive, fertile lands, leaving many Maori in a landless proletariat position (Anderson 282). The fallout of the wars was landless Maori, more British immigration and isolation of Maori population by Crown and loss of faith in the government of New Zealand to protect Maori interests.

Impact on visual and material culture in Aotearoa

The events surrounding the colonisation of New Zealand and especially this bloody land war has lead to more pakeha art as colonisation resulted in a huge shift in racial makeup of New Zealand society. Contemporary Maori art commonly addresses issues related to Maori grievances with the Crown and the fallout of British theft of land in today’s society.

“If the blood of our people only had been spilled, and the land remained, then this trouble would have been over long ago.” Ngati Mahuta chief Tamati Ngapora (Anderson 282)

Works Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. Print.


237131_A1_WEEK 4 TASK 2_14/08/2016

Intellectual property and copyright law are insufficient to protect misuse of taonga works by third parties because they are ideas stemmed from two different world views. To the western legal system taonga works are a physical possession, that are made based on an idea of the artist. Intellectual property law and copyright does not protect the ownership of ideas, but only the fixed product of those ideas (Tuatahi 39). On the other hand Maori view taonga not as a physical property, but as a representation of mātauranga Maori, something that a person can not hold as property, but merely act with kaitiakitanga over (Tuatahi 31).

The law does not recognise the perpetual nature of the kaitiaki (guardian) relationship with the knowledge, customs and beliefs associated with taonga (39) and therefore does not protect taonga works from misuse by third party sources.


Intellectual Property law doesn’t protect ideas, only the fixed products of those ideas (39). Taonga works are the physical or intellectual products of Matauranga – the knowledge the first Maori people brought to Aotearoa.

Copyright laws only last for a few generations and have to be fixed in material form – does not work for longstanding Maori oratory traditions and songs etc.

Maori trade marks  committee gives advice but is non binding.


Works Cited:

Tuatahi, Te Taumata. Ko Aotearoa Tēnei. Rep. Waitangi Tribunal Report. N.p.: n.p., 2011. Print. A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity



237131_A1_WEEK 4 TASK 1_14/08/2016

Tapu refers to an object, action or ritual that is sacred. Tapu can go hand in hand with the idea of mana and the two terms are even used interchangeably in some iwi  (Mead 30).

Maori taonga are imbued with mana and have meaning and importance in Maori tikanga. For example, feather cloak of a chief is imbued with mana and considered tapu. Artists, especially pakeha artists, have to be conscious of Maori culture and the meaning of tapu symbols so not to misappropriate ideas.  While it is important to have artistic freedom to express ideas, this must not be at the cost of causing offense.


Works Cited:

Mead, Sidney M. Tikanga Māori: Living by Māori Values. Wellington, N.Z.: Huia, 2003. Print.

237131_A1_WEEK 3_08/08/2016


The above is a huami, a cover  used to deflect waves coming over the prow of the waka. It was found in a swamp near Patea, in South Taranaki. It dates back to the 1400’s, the end of Te Tipunga, the growth period of Maori art (Anderson 77).

During this period the rectinlinear East Polynesian patterns transition to a more curvilinear style which has become associated with Southern Polynesian art and design (Fagan 225). The patterns are indicative of Te Tipunga but also the choice of mark them on a huami.With the moa hunted to extinction by the 1400’s Maori had to rely on fish and shellfish as their main source of protein (Anderson 97). Because of this art and design shifted to fish hooks and waka rather than hunting tools.

At the same time Maori were transitioning to more of an agricultural based society, growing crops of mainly kumera, allowing Maori to spend more time creating art and design rather than spend it hunting.

Works Cited:

Anderson, Atholl. “Chapter 3: Pieces of the Past”. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Ed. Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Aotearoa: Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 73-89. Print

Fagan, Brian M. People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory. 14th ed. New Jersey: Pearson, 2007. Web. 9 Aug. 2016. Pg 225.

Week 2 Task

lapita pottery-01
Staurt Bedford “Lapita Pottery”. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. Ed. Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, and Aroha Harris. Aotearoa: Bridget Williams Books, 2014. 22. Print.

Lapita, Polynesian and Maori art are similar suggesting that they have a shared origin. Lapita people migrated out to West Polynesia from as early as 1000BC. From approximately 900AD descendants of Lapita people began to migrate east and south equipped with more advanced seafaring technology. The tangata whenua are thought to have been reached New Zealand around 1300AD (Anderson 18).

Lapita pottery was patterned by stamping rectilinear geometric designs onto the malleable red clay found in the Pacific Islands. This rectilinear style was common in early Maori art during Ngà Kakano  (Anderson 87). However, Maori tended to use wood rather than clay as their medium of choice. Aotearoa is an isolated group of islands at the bottom of the South Pacific,  despite Polynesian seafaring prowess it would have been difficult to reach. Maori culture and art grew and developed independently from Polynesia forming its own unique style. Art drifted towards curvilinear patterns and designs that are famous today. But we can still trace Maori art and culture back to its Lapita and Polynesian roots.


Lapita Culture and Pottery Migration Notes:

The picture above is an example of Lapita pottery, it is identifiable as Lapita because of its red colour and distinctive set of motifs and symbols. The people who made this pottery were the first culture to inhabit the South Pacific beyond the Solomon Islands. This strand of pottery has been found throughout Western Polynesia and by dating it throughout these islands archaeologists can track the dates of the Lapita people’s migration. For example Lapita pottery found in the Bismark Archipelago dates back to 1300BC while Lapita pottery found in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa only dates back to 1000-800BC (Anderson 22) suggesting they moved from west to east across Western Polynesia. Lapita pottery is found no further east than Samoa. Because of this limited dispersal it is assumed that the Lapita people’s seafaring technology was not advanced enough to reach the next cluster of islands in Eastern or Southern Polynesia (Anderson 22).



Works Cited:

Anderson, Atholl, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris. Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History. New Zealand: Bridget Williams Books, 2012. Print.