The Maori Meeting House: Introducing the Whare Whakairo
This all-new introductory guide to the whare whakairo, or Maori meeting house, covers every aspect of these magnificent taonga (treasures) - their history and evolution, structure and art forms, symbolism and cultural power.
Generously illustrated with over a hundred intriguing historical and contemporary photographs, and containing original watercolour illustrations and a helpful glossary, the book clearly illustrates the parts - and the arts - of the whare whakairo, with reference to numerous houses from all over Aotearoa New Zealand and the world.
In accessible and engaging text across three concise chapters, Damian Skinner brings together existing scholarship on whare whakairo with his own reflections as a Pakeha art historian and curator. He weaves in the voices of many carvers, artists, architects, writers, experts and iwi to give every reader new ways of seeing these taonga - whether it is their first visit or their hundredth. Equal parts informative history, personal essay and illustrated guidebook, The Maori Meeting House makes an important contribution to contemporary discussions about indigenous art history and taonga Maori.
Damian Skinner is an art historian, a writer, and the curator of applied art and design at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira. He is the author of "The Carver and the Artist: Maori Art in the Twentieth Century" and "The Passage of Life: John Hovell and the Art of Kowhaiwhai," which won the New Zealand Post Illustrated Nonfiction Award in 2011.
Encountering the whare whakairo; The history of the whare whakairo; The arts of the whare whakairo; Interpreting the whare whakairo; Sitting on the paepae