Friday, November 26, 2010

sale just wrong

So someone will be making  lots of money from the auction of maori artifacts stolen and looted from these islands (and I mean that under all circumstances including gifts). Will our government bid - oh i don't think so, that is only for fantasy movies and finance company investors - maybe a museum will buy them - you know, for their antiquities area.

I'd like to see them come home and be treated with respect - this disgusting habit of comodifying indigenous people must stop and i'd ban the auction and sale of indigenous cultural artifacts.

From TV3
More than $600,000 worth of precious Maori artifacts are to be sold at auction in Paris next week, including a canoe prow said to have been owned by a Treaty of Waitangi signatory.
The prow is only about 28cm high and described as "very rare" and in the shape of a tattooed head representing Hema, a hero of Maori mythology, will be sold in Paris next Wednesday.
"The rarity of the work and its importance in the history of the Maori is equalled by the exceptional treatment of the facial tattoos, which completely cover the face in curvilinear patterns," the auction house said in notes for its catalogue.
A 48cm waka huia - an ancient wooden container for greenstone and huia feathers - was carved with stone tools. It was collected by William Oldman.
A 13cm hei tiki carved from greenstone was collected by naturalist Frederick Strange during a stopover of the HMS Acheron in Auckland in 1849.

Collected - such an innocent euphamism - how were 'artifacts' collected? What was the mindset of the collectors?

This is a filthy business and these auctions are the latest shameful episode in the long exploitation.

1 comment:

Muzza said...

This reminds me of when i came across Maori taonga in an overseas museum. Its hard to capture the feeling with words, the best i can do is say that you could feel them talking to you. There was a feeling that they wanted to come home. It was a powerful feeling and a sad one as well.

It is certainly a regrettable situation having our taonga treated as goods to be traded and sold. I await their return and the restoration of the mauri and mana of the these taonga.