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Submitted on
March 15, 2006
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Mature Content


177 (who?)

Z-Landerby dpdagger

Mature Content
Isn't it about time I spent another 30 hours or so on a piece? Well I did it anyway.

Hopefully I do justice to the Maori culture with this piece. A few notes: The war club she is holding is called a wahaika which translates to "mouth of the fish" I would guess that the reasoning behind the name is that the clubs were carved out of the jaw bone of a whale, though some are also made of wood or jade. Such weapons were reserved for warriors of high status. The figured carved on the back of the club would be either an ancestral figure or Tu Matuenga (the god of war).

The pendant around her neck is a hei tiki. Hei meaning suspended from the neck and tiki the first man.

In regards to her tattoos and the carved figure, both are heavily linked to ancestry and social status. So rather than stealing someones heritage I opted to create my own based on traditional maori designs. Moko or face tattoos were most often carved into the skin and as I mentioned before represent ancestry, social status, rank, marital status etc. Males of high status would eventually have thier whole face tattooed, females would usually just be tattooed on the chin and upper lip.

The Carved figures often represent revered ancestral figure though sometimes are made to represent gods. The eyes are inlaid with paua shells.

I guess I will stop at that. If you know that I have gotten any of this incorrect please let me know.

11x14 - acrylic paint, Micron pen, blue and black Pilot ballpoint pens
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baycydeboy Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2014
Ive only just come across this and gotta say this is some awesome work so mad props to you for what you have done and the thought you put into the design! Considering youre not even a maori or even a kiwi makes this piece even more impressive. Ive seen a lot of New Zealanders put together artwork that isnt as well thought out and presented as youve done so massive respect to you. At first glance I thought she looked like an interpretation of Hinemoa from the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. Have you done any recent works boss?

cruel-belleza Featured By Owner May 9, 2012
I absolutely love this piece however I feel the need to point out, as a Maori woman currently in New Zealand, that no hei tiki should ever have a hole in its head.
I know that this is commonly done commercially but it's actually bordering on the line of offensive for some. The head is the most sacred part of the body and to put a hole in it is almost blasphemous, it's incredibly tapu. A hei tiki is traditionally strung by the holes that the actual carving creates, usually linked through the arm.
A random point also, I've never seen a traditional greenstone carving with a coloured thread, it's always been a natural woven thread with bone closures.
In saying all that though this really is a stunning piece!!
TheObsessiveBrowser Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2011
I study anthropology, & I love art that deals with any non - Western culture. I can appreciate the detail that went into this. I had a jade hei tiki almost like the girl is wearing ( although I ordered it online ). Some Maori art looks very similar to Native American designs from the American NW, at least to me.

Needless to say, this is beautiful ! The Maori girl looks so petite & exotic, & the totem ( ? ) is very ornate. :) :p
dpdagger Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Sorry I am so slow to reply. Much thanks. I did a lot of research on this piece, so it is nice when people notice.
TheObsessiveBrowser Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2011
No problem.

This piece was one that stuck out to my view. I would LOVE to see that area of the globe someday.
mmtattoo Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
Hey bud, nice art......Like the carving in the backgound, as far as the patu(the club) goes, way ova done - but cool fantasy, and really the biggest thing bro - Maori woman neva had body tattoos like this, males yes - fems no. Fems would have the odd small brest piece to say about dead childred or husbands - slave markings on there calves, but normally only the chin Moko.
So other that confussing this chick - shes a hottie
If-not-for-Gravity Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome New Zealand Maori culture represent !
Nice artworks from the light :)
thothflashpan Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
AMAZING!shes beautiful..
you should definitely come over and get tattooed!
black-fly Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2008
this is gorgeous. at the moment im painting a maori subject painting for a friend of mine. and this has givin me alot of inspiration.
dpdagger Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. Glad to hear it.
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