Author(s): Roger Neich; Cliff Whiting (Foreword by)
Neich's highly successful Painted Histories is now reprinted in paperback. It explores the flowering of figurative painting in Maori meetinghouse decoration in the nineteenth century. Not practiced traditionally, figurative painting was a response to missionary criticism of Maori church decoration. Decoration of the meetinghouse was transformed in striking, beautiful ways to display new tribal histories based on Ringatu teaching and the experience of land alienation. It was later superseded by a government-sponsored return to orthodox art forms. Neich analyses the theory and practice of this art and describes more than 80 meeting houses, including many now disappeared. Richly illustrated.
Roger Neich is Curator of Ethnology at Auckland Museum. He has published widely on traditional Maori and Pacific art and is the author of Carved Histories (AUP, 2001) and co-author of Pacific Tapa (1997).