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Submitted on
March 15, 2006
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176 (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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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!!
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 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.
No problem.

This piece was one that stuck out to my view. I would LOVE to see that area of the globe someday.
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 Aug 27, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Awesome New Zealand Maori culture represent !
Nice artworks from the light :)
AMAZING!shes beautiful..
you should definitely come over and get tattooed!
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 Oct 24, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. Glad to hear it.
SGAlteran Nov 4, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Love the intricate detail, especially on the statue.
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