Monday, March 4, 2013

Maori Pipes ca 1890

In the last years of the nineteenth century, and the first years of the twentieth, in the South Island of New Zealand, 

First partial map of New Zeelandia, first sigthed in 1642

"A view of the Murderers' Bay, as you are at anchor here in 15 fathom", a 1642 drawing made by Abel Tasman's artist on the occasion of a skirmish between the Dutch explorers and Māori people at what is now called Golden Bay, New Zealand. This is the first European impression of Māori people.

First nearly complete map of New Zealand, drawn by James Cook, 1769.

near the coastal town of Greytown, 

Greytown, ca 1900

Papawai marae became the focus of Kotahitanga, the Maori Parliament movement, and hosted many important meetings to discuss issues of importance to Maori.

Pāpāwai marae is located just to the east of Greytown. Its meeting house, named Hikurangi, dates from 1888 and is unique in that the magnificent carved ancestors which surround the pā face inward.

Delegations from many tribal areas met at Papawai Marae. In 1897, after talks with Premier Richard Seddon,

Richard John Seddon, the 15th Prime Minister of New Zealand 1892-1906,
Alexander Turnbull Library

and King Mahuta

Third Maori King Mahuta ca 1910

 who had recently succeeded his father Tawhiao (c. 1822 - 1894), the second Maori King,

A rare carte-de-visite portrait of Tawhiao (c. 1822 - 1894), the 2nd Maori King , who "-left a legacy of religious principles from which his people would draw a future dream for Tainui: the rebirth of a self-sufficient economic base, supported by the strength and stability of the people. Native trees and foods symbolise strength and self-sufficiency in his statement: 'I shall build my own house, the ridge-pole will be of hinau and the supporting posts of mahoe and patate. Those who inhabit that house shall be raised on rengarenga and nurtured on kawariki.'

the Maori Parliament supported a petition to Queen Victoria that all remaining Maori land should be protected. 

'A Maori War Canoe', printed in 1890, Cassells Picturesque Australasia, Cassell & Co

Around the same time Maori crafstmen and artists carved pipes that, while reflecting the influence of the British settlers, captured the essence of the Maori Traditions,  

Ureia, guardian taniwah acted well towards their people when accorded appropriate respect, taniwha (sea creature), depicted in a carved poupou (house post) from the interior of Hotunui, a carved meeting house of the Ngati Maru people, Thames, New Zealand. This house was built in 1878 by Ngati Awa carvers from Whakatane.

worshipped Heroes and respected Elders,

Head and shoulders portrait of a Māori man, his hair in a topknot with feathers and a bone comb, full facial moko, a greenstone earring, a tiki and a flax cloak. He has a small beard and a moustache. He is known as Rachel and Maygen. Parkinson, Sydney, 1745-1771. Drawn by Parkinson who was the artist on Captain Cook's 1st voyage to New Zealand in 1769. From: Parkinson, Sydney. A journal of a voyage to the South Seas. London, 1784, plate 16, opposite page 90.Published 1784; probably sketched in 1769,
Alexander Turnbull Library,

and a profound respect for Nature. 

"The pipe model is copied from the imported English clay pipes, that were combined with the characteristic motifs of the Maori crafts. The pipe shown here with a little trunk-shaped bowl is a wonderful example of both tendencies. The model of this pipe goes back to the so-called fluted bowl of the English clay pipes from the nineteenth century and is purely a clay shape. The fluted English bowl was almost without change copied in local wood. The surface of the pipe is fitted with fine carving in the typical geometric Maori pattern.[...] Specific to this pipe is the image of a stylized lizard in relief along the bowl. For the Maori, the lizard is an important animal that originally refers to a crocodile. The representation originates from the Polynesian period of this tribe when the animal was worshiped for its divine status." Don Duco,Tobacco pipes from the Maori. Courtesy Amsterdam Pipe Museum

The artistic beauty and cultural significance of the carvings make these pipes true masterpieces.

Maori Chief with facial moko and a pipe, 1860-1879, Musée de l'Homme, Paris

Courtesy of a private collection:

Front view of a Maori pipe thought to represent King Tawhiao, ca 1880-1890.
Any representation of the human head with facial moko would have been at the time a sacred act.
Sides and back of this pipe feature a total of three taniwah spirits, sign of a highly respected chief among Maori tribes. The chief is protected or perhaps an incarnation of the taniwahs. All faces and body are masterfully carved and fully three dimensional. Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Under the protection of a Taniwah to the left...Given the role of taniwha as tribal guardians, the word has been used in a complimentary way to chiefs. The famous saying of the Tainui people of the Waikato district plays on this double meaning: Waikato taniwha rau (Waikato of a thousand chiefs).
Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Each Taniwah has eyes of taua shell (abalone)
Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Under the protection of a Taniwah to the left...
Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Under the protection of a Taniwah on his back...
Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

Ex collection Jacques Kerchache.

The next two pieces are Courtesy of the Arjan de Haan Collection,

Maori pipe, New Zealand, ca. 1880, Possibly carved by Patoromu Tamatea, from the The Van Tienhoven collection, NL. Very finely carved wooden pipe depicting 2 figures.  The surface of the pipe is carved in rauponga pattern and the eyes are inlaid with paua shell (abalone),16 cm. long. Courtesy Arjan de Haan Collection.

The first figure appears to be a mask with a snake protruding from its mouth. Courtesy Arjan de Haan Collection.

The second figure is depicted with arms holding his own legs. Courtesy Arjan de Haan Collection.

Maori pipe, New Zealand, ca. 1900. Carver possibly Tom Heberley for Cristeson Goldsmiths
Finely carved wooden pipe depicting a Maori warrior head with intricate tattoos. This warrior is smoking a pipe.The eyes are inlaid with paua shell, the stem is made of hard rubber and the band is 18 carat gold. It is hallmarked: "L.C. 18ct. GP",
15 cm. long. Courtesy of the Arjan de Haan Collection

Courtesy of the Arjan de Haan Collection

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