Wood, paua shell
Gift of Curtis Galleries, Inc.
- The artist who carved this sculpture used repeated lines to create pattern that emphasizes an important part of the figure.
Where do you see repeated lines in this sculpture?
On the sculpture's face
The artist placed the figure's hands to emphasize another important part of the sculpture.
Where are the figure's hands?
The center of the body
The artist used a substance different from wood to emphasize another important part of this figure.
Where do you see a substance different from wood?
Inlaid paua shell eyes.
- In general, a human head is about 1/7 of a human body. Put another way, the height of your head multiplied by seven should equal
your approximate height. Compare the proportion of the head of this sculpture to the rest of the figure. Is the proportion of head to
body the same as that for a real human figure?
- An artist who makes
sculpture tries to make an something appear as it would if you saw the real thing in nature. An artist who makes
sculpture exaggerates certain features and details, while leaving other details out of the sculpture.
Do you think this figure looks naturalistic or abstract?
Which features did the artist exaggerate?
Head and hands are large in contrast to the small body. Hair is simplified. Eyes are simplified.
- The head of this figure is very large in proportion to the rest of the figure's body.
Why would the artist who carved this sculpture want to make the head bigger?
Maori consider the head to be the center of personal power.
- This carved post supported the main ridge-beam in a meeting house of the Maori. The ridge beam is
of the backbone of the ancestor the house is meant to represent.
What role does a backbone serve?
A backbone is the main support for a skeletal structure.
How does an ancestor serve as a backbone for a community?
Ancestors provide the foundation for many communities, and honoring and remembering them brings communities together around a common element.
Can you think of ways that we honor and remember our ancestors?
Family trees, family photographs, cemeteries and mausoleums mark the graves of ancestors in a special ways, monuments and museums house portraits of and by people we wish to remember.
- Some people think objects like this Maori figure should be kept in museums for everyone to learn from and enjoy, even though they
were never intended to be displayed that way. Others think that objects like these are treasures of the people they came from and
should be returned.
What do you think? Explain your answer.
No right answer.