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Art of Pacific Cultures

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Haley El Mahassni

on 21 May 2014

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Transcript of Art of Pacific Cultures

Art of Pacific Cultures
People of the Pacific
Australia (Arnhem Land)
Melanesia (New Guinea, New Island)
Polynesia (Eastern, Marquesas Islands, New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands)
Aboriginal Art (Australia)
- ceremonial art forms
rocks and bark
sand sculptures

Jimmy Midjaw Midjaw (Australia)
made on eucalyptus bark
shows one of their meetings/rituals
reviving spirits of those who have died
New Guinea (Largest island in Pacific)
- Divided into two countries
Eastern Papua New Guinea
West Papua
Asmat Art
felt the universe was composed of invisible forces or spirits that couldn't be controlled
should be honored and celebrated
masks, totems made for rituals and thrown away afterwards
Haley El Mahassni and Sarah Garringer
sacred objects/spaces, dance, song
these renewed super natural powers to their dead ancestors
Bisj Poles
- made of wood
- New Guinea
- layered figures atop of one another to represent the dead
- believed that death was always caused by enemy, never natural
-figures in a squatted position (usually animals) are characteristic of Pacific Art
Used a Wapepe navigation chart
- relied on sun and moon to navigate themselves from the Marshall Islands
Polynesia & Marquesas Islands
Gods and religion were very prominent in Polynesian lifestyle
ALL arts were sacred
Religion included many levels of Gods
tattoos were very popular to show status and wealth in Marquesas Islands
forbidden in 19th century by French and Catholic high powers
New Zealand - Maori Art
Easter Islands (Polynesia)
- Moai Ancestor Figures
Ahu Nau Nau, Rapi Nau
1000-1500 ce
Volcanic Stone
design meetinghouses as a symbolic embodiment of an ancestor
spirit stuck inside the house
entering the house = entering inside deceased body

Colossal Head
Main Ideas
many items were portable and used during ceremonies
woven fabrics were made of natural materials
Oceanic artists used intricate lines to create masterpieces on tapa (bark) or in tattooing
Moai: large stone sculptures definitive in Easter Islands
a lot of artistic expression
used complex mythology used with singing and dancing
used the power of dreams as basis of central art making
"x-ray style" shows principal bones and organs of figures
- Aboriginal Art
- Asmat Art
-Maori Art
Full transcript