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32 Cards in this Set

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haus tamberan

papua new guinea

sacred structure (womb)

kawelka: highlands

- spend most of their time without women inside the sacred place, religious.

- the crocodile created Mankind. It gave birth to man, and gave man a ride on his back. The poop was the world’s islands. Man grew bored, and made a stick into a shiv and killed the crocodile. He was sosad after he realized, that his tears created the Sepik river.

- initiation: crawl through the "womb" and come out a man

abelam: lowlands

- largest structure in the village, always the center

- Inside is called a womb, like a second birth. Central pole that defines the space, like a mans penis. They would have a basket with eggs (testicles) and coconuts, also sometimes skulls. Constructed at night so women can’t see inside. Painted by men using red black and white paint. Bottom panels: carved and painted lintel with faces (Ngwalundu). Lower panels: plain and woven by women


papua new guinea

can be an object or a supernatural being, represented through sculpture or paint. Painted on the bottom tier of the Tamberan. Has strange eyes, can be seen as stars (concentric circles), or breasts, coconuts.



sacred energy, indwelling power that comes from things/people. All tangible objects have this. Those with the highest ranks, have more. It’s a divine expression. Whatever you touch absorbs your mana.



(taboo) it’s a forbidden something you want to stay away from. But it also designates something highly sacred. If you’re a royal, you are tapu to a commoner and therefore cannot associate with you. Believing in mana/tapu creates inequality.



to lift the tapu. There came a time when the different classes needed to interact. was a way to lift that through ritual. (ex: If a feather headdress fell off the chief in battle, there would be a ritual where a commoner could assist and bring the hat back to its owner without consequence.)



veiled meaning, indirectness. Term refers to the veiled meaning of art objects. Hidden meaning, as in Hawaiian poetry; concealed reference, as to a person, thing, or place; words with double meanings that might bring good or bad fortune.

aesthetic of inequality

Traditional Polynesian artworks are created within an esthetic of inequality.

1. Skill 2. Indirectness 3. Integral association of verbal, spatial, visual and olfactory modes of expression.

(Kaeppler: Pre-contact fabrication is a concept of limited value in the study of Polynesian art and aesthetics. Whether or not an object was made before European contact is irrelevant to its aesthetic merit. Simply because a sculpture or barkcloth beater was carved with metal tools, does not make it less Polynesian or less authentic.)



- 1000 BCE pre Polynesia

- A culture that spreads from the Bismarck Archipelago along the coast of Papua New Guinea, through Melanesia, into Polynesia

-From Fiji, the went further east for Tonga (5,000 years ago) and then to SamoaIn less than 1000 years the Lapita had traveled more than 5000 km into the Ocean from their base in Southeast Asia

-First identified in New Caldonia

-The most important prehistoric cultural tradition for understanding the prehistory of much of the Pacific

-It is was discovered on pots made out of ceramics



-Means hereditary chief

-Ariki is on top of the hierarchical traditions tied to the sacred rituals in which special objects or works of art were used


Hawai’i Culture in Polynesian

-Feather cloaks and capes

-Made to protect the spine of the chief because the spine has the geneology

-Red, black , green, and yellow are the colors, RED HAS THE MOST MANA

-Yellow feathers more valuable

-Gives the chief mana

-Feathers are used because birds were highly praised (seen as intermediaries for the heaven and earth)

-Crescent shape (rainbow)

-Dangerous for others to wear only royalty

-It can only be acquired by appropriation or inheritance


Marquesan club Polynesian

-late 18th-19th century

-Was used as a close combat weapon

-Most important traditional weapon

-Only when a man killed a person with a this, he was granted warrior status

-Works of art

-Has mana

-Length was from the floor to the armpit

-The men that used a this had to show control using it


papua new guinea/new zealand/hawaii

-A person who is skilled

-For example a person who feather cloaks

-An artist

-Gives mana to things the person creates



-Inserting pigment in the skin done by repetitive blows to the skin.

-Ivory or bone is dipped into ink and used to darken the skin.

-The priest/artist is called the Tufunga.

-The comb, the mallet, the pigment and the sponge are the only objects used.

-You would segment the body to create geometric shapes. There are representational images within each shape.

-The last place to be tattooed is the belly button (birth), and a centipede on the lower back, which represents hardships.

-The color black references a bird (tern) and is considered sacred (intermediary).

-Pe’a (14-18) mans tattoo, malu (14-25) women’s tattoo.

captain cook

-A British explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the British Royal Navy.

-He was recorded as the first to make contact with the Eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands.

-His crew documented much of the fauna, wildlife and tattoos on the inhabitants of Polynesian and Hawaiian Islands.



Kapa- Hawaii

Siapu- Samoa

-all women learn this craft.

-Mats are so finely woven that it is almost impossible to see how many pieces are in a square inch.

-A symbol in Samoan culture.

-It can be used as clothing, burial shrouds, bed covers, ceremonial garments and more.

-The process: includes stripping, separating and beating the bark of the Paper Mulberry tree.

-is then colored with natural dyes and Samoan designs are added.

(Kaeppler says that mats are evaluated by fineness, color and type of leaves, age, on what occasion who used them for)


maori - new zealand

-"big house"

-A sacred Māori hut or dwelling/meeting place

-It sits in the center of the marae.

-There are strict rules of conduct for those who enter, including behavior and treatment towards other.

- Carvings of ancestors decorate.


maori - new zealand

-A panel located under the veranda of the Whare.

- It represents spiritual connection to the tribal ancestor or lineage of the carver.

-is treated with respect, as if it were an ancestor.


maori - new zealand

–A distinctive pattern used by Maori women on the walls of the Whare.

- They were originally made by using an interweaved lattice work of vertically and horizontally dried stalks of grass.


maori - new zealand

-A mythical creature and common motif in Maori carving and jewelry.

- Depicted as having the head of a bird and body of a man.

- Believed to be a messenger between earthly world and domain of the spirits and is used as a symbol to guard against evil.

- Related symbols can be found in other Polynesian cultures such as Hawai’i and Easter Island.

king kamehameha

-November 1758(?)— May 8, 1819

-By 1810, had united all the Hawaiian islands and founded the Kamehameha dynasty

-First named Paiea, (“Hard-Shelled Crab”) the future sovereign was the son of Keoua, a high chief, and of Kekuiapoiwa, a daughter of the former king Alapai.

-Hawaiian tradition tells that a bright star, Kokoiki, appeared just before the great conqueror was born. The date of the legend coincides with the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1758.

-The strongest Hawaiian ruler, he maintained his kingdom’s independence throughout the difficult period of European discovery and exploration of the islands—a task that proved too great for his successors.

shigeyuki kihara

-contemporary artist and the first New Zealander to hold a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

-Titled Shigeyuki Kihara: Living Photographs, the exhibition opened from 7 October 2008 to 1 February 2009.

-Kihara's self-portrait photographs in the exhibitions included nudes in provocative poses that portrayed colonial images of Polynesian women as sexual objects.

-Kihara is also a fa'afafine, the 3rd gender of Samoa


Maori - New Zealand

-(not Tatau) Facial carving process of elites that lacerates the skin and putting in inks to create inked scars.

-Tools: Uhi (chisels made of albatross bone) and soot from burnt kauri gum was also mixed with fat to make pigment.

-Men that did not have this were referred to as bare-boards. They were shamed because they did not have the carving, and were considered low-class.

-The genealogy is referred to as wakapapa (like the canoe).

-We think that between 1770- 1840, there was a shift in style, from straight lines to curvilinear.

-Patterns came to you in dreams (divinity), and would ask the tahunga for these patterns.

-Women’s moka was on the lips, chin and nostrils.

george nuku

-a chief/artist, third in line for leadership for the Maori tribe of New Zealand’s north island.

-Uses his moko as a signature that reflects in his work.

-Creates large-scale moko, and interested in contextualizing it in todays society.

-Uses Plexiglas to carve instead of wood because he wants to use the museums environment to create his pieces.

-He also uses the raven (trickster) as a main theme.


yolngu - austrailia

-term for the animist framework and symbol system of Australian Aboriginal mythology, introduced by A. P. Elkin in 1938 and popularized by William Edward Hanley Stanner and others from the 1970s for a concept of "time out of time", or "everywhen", inhabited by ancestral figures, often of heroic proportions or with supernatural abilities, but not considered "gods" as they do not control the material world and are not worshipped

clifford possum

-Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri AO (1932—21 June 2002)

-was an Australian painter, considered to be one of the most collected and renowned Australian Aboriginal artists.

-His paintings are held in galleries and collections in Australia and elsewhere, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Kelton Foundation and the Royal Collection.

papunya tula art coop

-artist cooperative formed in 1972 that is owned and operated by Aboriginal people from the Western Desert of Australia.

-The group is known for its innovative work with the Western Desert Art Movement, popularly referred to as "dot painting".

-Credited with bringing Aboriginal art to world attention, its artists inspired many other Australian Aboriginal artists and styles.

-The company operates today out of Alice Springsand is widely regarded as the premier purveyor of Aboriginal art in Central Australia.

illustrate what kaeppler maens when she states that objects are social agents. draw on the relationship of the artist, the art object, and the patron in traditional polynesian society. use feather cloaks, war clubs, and tapa/kapa/siapo cloth as your example.

tells us that objects act as social agents,meaning that objects have the power to effect, change those people that it has contact with. There is a hierarchical order in society, and that this inequality creates and aesthetic, people have unequal access to things. At the top were the hereditary chiefs, the royals. Below them were artists, below the artists were warriors, then commoners, and then landless class, and below the mare slaves. All art was made for the chiefs. The chiefs are not just royal leaders, but said to be part of the gods. All cultures believed in gods/goddesses, and those with rank had a connection to those deities. In order to claim royal decent, you need to prove it. It is their essence or power from their genes. Because of this, there is no access to art because it is considered so sacred.

using three in-class student presentations other than your own, discuss the affinities between african/oceanic art and western art. consider your subject matter, style, materials and/or function.

cody: ndebele

kevin: samoan tatau

discuss the receiving of the samoan tatau and the maori moko in pre-contact times. why was tatau and moko taken and what role did they play in their perspective cultures?

maori moko: carving of people, linked to wood carving. seen first and foremost as carving. story: the desire to lacerate the skin started when two brothers fought over which part of the fish to cut. when the fish started to fight back, the rivers and mountains of new zealand were formed.

significance: establishes a connection between the land and the people.

body: focused on the face because new zealand has a colder climate, and the rest of the body is normally covered in clothes.

samoan tatau: two woman goddesses that traveled, and felt like they exhausted their resources. they swam to fiji, and were greeted by two women that had patterns all over their bodies. the covered women felt bad that the samoan goddesses were "naked" so they shared the stories of the tatau. the goddesses brought back the knowledge.

body: pe'a (men) - back/legs / malu (woman) - thighs

significance: who you are and who you want to be

both: not only a way of decorating bodies but bringing the past and present together forever.

-Moka stopped happening because they would sell moko heads and trade them for guns.

-Why moka/Tatau: it is the only thing that comes with you to the grave and becomes a part of you.It fortifies the skin and makes the natural cultural. This constructs a fullMaori elite (like hazing). Also to add mana to what you have. Creates an ageless appeal, because it is hard to tell age once you cover the face. Shows status, tells us that this person (without even talking to him) what his rank in society is, tells us he is male as well. Tells us that he has been initiated and has knowledge about his group to lead them, and he can also deal with pain. Tells us about his ancestors. Also symbolizes an imitation of nature.

4. what is the significance of yolngu paintings? discuss this art in relation to the dreamtime, figurative vs. iconic, and methods of interpretation according to morphy.

- Interpretation can be based on three possibilities: Interpreter was present when painting was done and saw how form related to content, there’s a fixed meaning between form and content that the interpreter has been told before, interpreter is familiar with system and is able to deduce or guess meaning

– Art in Relation to Dreamtime: A way of individuals being associated with their ancestral past is through dreaming

- Idealized perception of plane above reality in which you can connect with your lineage

- Its main purposes are to explain the world around them, to teach, and to connect with ancestors

- It is a state of transformation only through art

–- Figurative vs. iconic:

-iconic = figurative & non-iconic = geometric

- iconic = look alike criteria (you can tell that a symbol represents a fish for example because it’s in the shape of a fish)

- non-iconic = symbols are supernatural, geometric or abstract (you can’t tell what it is without prior knowledge of a tribes beliefs or have been inducted and the meaning has been revealed to you)

- Non-figurative = conceptual design whereas figurative = perceptual design

– Methods of Interpretation- Permanent forms of design: allows constant interpretation of design over time, and allows the same object to be reinterpreted over time

- Revealed information over time = an initiate may be told a story about a painting at one time, then slowly over time more will be revealed about the painting’s meaning

- Designs may contain individual representations, however when placed into a group the design may become part of a whole, resulting in the entire piece telling an overall story, theme, or location

- Identification = message is known or not know by interpreter based on analysis of piece as a whole (May or may not have been told what a symbol means), interpretation = Analyzing the piece in its entirety to understand the piece’s meaning

– Conclusion- Howard Morphy spelled out the complicated analysis of Yolngu art

- It involves connections to the “dreamtime”, a plane of higher understanding and connection

- There are numerous ways in which a piece can be analyzed, much of the time depending on if a person has been inducted into a tribe to understand the thinking behind art

- Interpretations can be broad from an outsiders viewpoint, but to the tribe it can be very clear.

5. drawing on the forge article on the abelam and the film about the kawelka, write about the role of art/performance and belief systerm in papua new guinea.

-In Papua New Guinea the Abelam and Kawelka don’t really have art.

-The art that they have they do not consider it art, the western people label it as “art”. They mostly just care about their culture.

-The forms the Abelam (lowlands) create are to express their everyday life and is the key in maintaining that way of life.

-Another purpose is to communicate the complex sociological and religious concerns of the people.

-The purpose of the walesagia are not to be considered art, the are made in the facade to represent ancestral spirit beings, the ones who made the land, taught the tribe its rite, just to keep the tradition going.

-In Kawelka (highlands) instead of art they have perform for the Moka. The men dress alike, wearing 3 wings made from real human hair, masks with a lot of decoration, and colors that are used are white, red, and black.

-The reason they perform is to celebrate the man that received the title “Big Man.”The belief for both of these cultures are similar. They both believe that man is more superior than women.

-Only the man are allowed in the Tamberan house while the women and children are excluded.

-In the Kawelka only a man can achieve the rank of “Big Man” and not the women. The culture isolate the women and make them do all the labor stuff.

compare and contrast art-making in papua new guinea and polynesia, specifically in role and function or architecture and body art.