Māori Stereotypes in Mainstream Media

Wall identifies four dominant stereotypes within contemporary media which help to reinforce colonial perceptions of Maori. One of these stereotypes is the caricature of “the comic Other” which, while seemingly good natured holds malignant implications (Wall 42). The NZ Anti-Drink Driving commercial Ghost Chips plays on this stereotype, featuring a  young Māori man considering the effects... Continue Reading →


Pacific Identities

One of Hau’ofa’s main considerations regarding Pacific identity is the need for a regional identity. Hau’ofa states that previous and current regional identity has often been determined by external influences, resulting in an inability for peoples of the Pacific to define themselves and the world in which they live (Hau’ofa 397). Considering the diversity of... Continue Reading →

Contesting Colonial Constructs: Contemporary Maori Art in the Decolonizing Process

The creation, circulation, and consumerism of colonial art has helped the reinforcement of Māori stereotypes, maintaining the dominant ideologies held by 19th century European settlers. This misrepresentation, whether conscious or not, confirms the subordinate position of Maori in relation to European. I will look at how these visual representations continue to produce meaning today, enforcing... Continue Reading →

Understanding The Treaty of Waitangi

The Treaty of Waitangi has often been a subject of debate between Māori and the Crown. Walker considers the incomplete Māori translation of the Treaty to be reason for such debate. It is important to note that while sharing conceptual similarities, words used in the English version of the Treaty do not hold the same... Continue Reading →

Kaupapa Māori and Matauranga Māori

The terms kaupapa Maori and matauranga Maori are often thought of as synonymous. Royal, however, makes clear that, while being related, they do not lie solely in the same realm. Royal distinguishes kaupapa Maori as meaning either the values and plans of action decided by Maori; or the values and plans suggested by traditional knowledge... Continue Reading →

The Fallacy of Maori Privilege

To be part of the globalized, networked world we live in, Nicholas Mirzoeff proposes that we better engage in terms of visual thinking and activism. Visual activism, he puts forth, is engaging with visual culture to promote and create change - that seeing is not enough, we must act (Mirzoeff 297). An issue within New... Continue Reading →

Visual Activism

Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer was well known for his paintings of Maori people. Often using Maori chiefs and chieftesses as his subjects, Lindauer's paintings have a sense of dignity and regality, highlighted through visual elements such as mere (hand held weapon made of treasured greenstone), huia feathers (of the now extinct bird), korowai (embroidered cloak), tā... Continue Reading →

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