Content Area 9: The Pacific

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  11 ARTWORKS - 4% of AP EXAM


      SmartHistory's Art of the Pacific



* Strong gender roles for creating art: Men = wood carving, women = tapa cloths
* Wood is the primary material: they have perfected woodcarving
* The use of natural materials such as fibers (plant materials), pigments, bones, sea ivory and shell, tortoise shell, wood, coral, and stone are very important to the meaning and symbolism of the artworks
* Intricate lines and details
* Art of Easter Island is unusual in Oceanic art
* Heavily influenced by the sea (point of isolation and connecting through travel and trade). 
* Art is in the form of performances, chants, dances, or rituals. Objects of dress/costumes or masks are used as props or disguises in religious rituals. They are not produced for aesthetic reasons.
* Sculptures representing life forces in the supernatural world are often wrapped (usually in tapa). The life force is referred to as mana. Mana is protected and defended by the act of wrapping called tapu.
* "Artworks" are displayed in the men's communal house.



* Some of the oldest inhabited areas on Earth (The Aboriginals reached Australia around 50,000 years ago)
* Some places only inhabited up to 1000 years ago (remote islands of the Pacific, Easter Island, New Zealand)
* We know about the culture of these areas because of explorations in the 18th century


Student Resources

* YouTube: End of Easter Island
* YouTube: Crash Course - Captain Cook
* Article (short) on Tamati Waka Nene from New Zealand History; Video included!
* Nat Geo interview with George Tamihana Nuku on Moko 
* From the Smithsonian: Article: "History of Tattoos"
* From the Smithonian: "Nan Madol" by Christopher Pala
* Nat Geo article on Australia's Aborigines (fantastic article)
* Video: The Ocean Shows Us the Way (navigation charts)
* Video: New Ireland's Malagan masks by St. Louis Art Museum and this one from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts * Presentation of Fijian mats to Queen Elizabeth II
* Documentary on the Moai statues by PBS
* Visit Khan Academy's SmartHistory AP Art History section on Pacific.




  Mrs. McConnell's lecture on the Introduction to Pacific Art 



Thank you so much to Lynn Wilkinson, Mary McConnell, Valerie Park and Martha Kunz for all their quidance and resources.