The Maori Meeting House

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More About This Title The Maori Meeting House


This all-new guide to the whare whakairo, or decorated Maori meeting house, covers every aspect of these treasures—their history and evolution, structure and art forms, and symbolism and cultural significance. Generously illustrated with more than a hundred intriguing historical and contemporary photographs, and containing dozens of diagrams and a helpful glossary, the book clearly illustrates the parts, and the arts, of the whare whakairo with reference to numerous historical and contemporary meeting houses from all over Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. In an accessible and engaging text, author Damian Skinner brings together existing scholarship on whare whakairo with his own reflections as an art historian and curator and the voices of many carvers, artists, architects, writers, experts, and iwi to give every reader new ways of seeing these taonga. Equal parts informative history, personal essay, and illustrated guidebook, The Maori Meeting House makes an important contribution to contemporary discussions about indigenous art history and taonga Maori. 


Damian Skinner is an art historian, a writer, and the curator of applied art and design at the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tamaki Paenga Hira. He is the author of The Carver and the Artist: Maori Art in the Twentieth Century and The Passage of Life: John Hovell and the Art of Kowhaiwhai, which won the New Zealand Post Illustrated Nonfiction Award in 2011.