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A Whakapapa of Tradition

One Hundred Years of Ngato Porou Carving, 1830-1930

A Whakapapa of Tradition by Ngarino Ellis
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From the emergence of the chapel and the wharenui in the nineteenth century to the rejuvenation of carving by Apirana Ngata in the 1920s, Maori carving went through a rapid evolution from 1830 to 1930. Focusing on thirty meeting houses, Ngarino Ellis tells the story of Ngati Porou carving and a profound transformation in Maori art. Beginning around 1830, three previously dominant art traditions – waka taua (war canoes), pataka (decorated storehouses) and whare rangatira (chief’s houses) – declined and were replaced by whare karakia (churches), whare whakairo (decorated meeting houses) and wharekai (dining halls). Ellis examines how and why that fundamental transformation took place by exploring the Iwirakau School of carving, based in the Waiapu Valley on the East Coast of the North Island. What makes a tradition in Maori art? Ellis asks. How do traditions begin? Who decides this? Conversely, how and why do traditions cease? And what forces are at play which make some buildings acceptable and others not? Beautifully illustrated with new photography by Natalie Robertson, and drawing on the work of key scholars to make a new synthetic whole, this book will be a landmark volume in the history of writing about Maori art.
Auckland University Press; July 2017
304 pages; ISBN 9781775587439
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Title: A Whakapapa of Tradition
Author: Ngarino Ellis; Natalie Robertson
 
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9781775587439
9781775587446
9781775587453
9781869407377