Thursday, January 05, 2006

maori feminist arcana

Spent couple of nights catching up with old friend, last sighted 10 or so years ago. Refusing to grow old gracefully & with typical Ngati Porou dissident gusto, 50-something pal now labels self "a feminist". Startled but intrigued by her Whole New Me makeover, I was nevertheless fascinated by two things she brought up.

1. The much rah-rah-ed Te Maori art exhibition that toured the US in the '80s DID NOT CONTAIN a single item associated with traditional women's art - no weavings, no cloaks, mats, baskets, wall panellings, etc.
The show was completely dominated by carvings: wood, bone & greenstone ornaments; tattooing; painting & decorative stuff. I was genuinely amazed with sympathetic agreement.

2. She's finishing degree at Vic (Maori/Art History) & is most annoyed The Maori Dept have completely exiled Maori Goddesses from their curriculum. The Women's Dept has far more info & resources re Atua Wahine than the Maoris. Good on Women's Studies for being scholarly; collecting & curating info - like a good knowledge caretaker would do. As for M Studies at Poneke University... hmm, perhaps better left unsaid...

There you go. Two things to be 'outraged' about if you want ;-)

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