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Final - Visual Culture A Difference in Perspectives Between...

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Visual Culture: A Difference in Perspectives Between the Maori Peoples of New Zealand and Students from the UCSC Campus Jonathon Haro HAVC 10E Winter Quarter 2008
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There are many forms of art in the world. Some cultures happen to share certain forms of art and therefore have similar visual cultures. For example, tattoo art, which has been practiced by the Maori people of New Zealand for centuries. Tattoo art is “a design made by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin” (Oxford Dictionary). As a result of societies intermingling and influencing one another through colonization, tattoo art was been passed on to other cultures in North America and other continents, but the context of the art as it is understood in its parent culture was not. In Maori society a tattoo might be looked upon completely differently than a tattoo on UCSC campus. That is why it is important to understand that although certain cultures share a part of each other’s visual culture, the respective cultures perceptions of the art and how they interpret it may be poles apart. In both Maori culture and culture here on the UCSC campus, tattoo art as a body art plays an important part in deciding how we perceive people. The type and quantity of tattoos a given person has changes our perception of that person and how we deal with them. The Maori people are an indigenous group from New Zealand. It is believed that the Maori migrated from Polynesia in canoes sometime around the 9th to 13th century AD. They comprise about 10% of the country's population. Their native language is Maoritanga, which is related to Tahitian and Hawaiian. One of the aspects of their visual culture they’re known for is their tattoo art (Hans 1999, pg 34-35). “No decoration has been considered so characteristic of the New Zealander as his tattooing. […] Maori tattooing, however, is
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