Monday, April 09, 2012

Plastic Maori

Click through to Wayne Youle (Ngapuhi, Ngati Whakaeke, Ngati Pakeha), who's work is currently tiled across the background of this blog... I love this stuff, part of the generation of Maori artists who have free reign over medium and message.

Here are some clever things someone else has said about him...

Lest we forget, plastic is a rather special substance. Although primarily derived from petrochemicals, the first man-made plastic was revealed at London's 1862 Great International Exhibition. Called 'Parkesine' after its inventor, this version is now called celluloid, an organic material derived from cellulose that once heated could be molded but retained its shape when cooled. 

The term 'plastic Maori' seems to have come about with the proliferation of cheap, foreign made trinkets for the tourism sector - racists would call the Indigenous inhabitants of Aotearoa/NZ 'plastic Maori' is they perceived any hint of 'dual-citizenship' in which that part based on Maori inheritance and experiential learning was perceived to fall short of natural and expert.

It's use as a perjorative perhaps harkens back to a time of artisinal crafted woodwork, and slow-chipped stone cathedrals, and i must confess i do try to do without it in my garden. But plastic is so damn useful! It was recently turned to the Plastic Waka for promotion of Ngati whatua during last years Rugby World Cup...

It seems almost 180,000 people visited the machine and survey's show an average satisfaction rating of 8.2 out of 10 (evidently higher than the Cloud or the Fan Zone). It was of course spun as an waste-of-money, iwi venture, and mainly by Labour Maori member, Shane Jones. Boo.

The debate goes on, of course, in many different guises. Just found this blog on an 'Urban Maori' Huffer doll, complete with grass skirt and spray can!

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