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.
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.