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Robert Jahnke

Doctor of Philosophy, (Maori Studies)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
He Tataitanga ahus toi: the house that Riwai built / a continuum of Maori art

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Professor Jahnke’s research investigated Maori art within historical and contemporary tribal contexts in order to identify its distinguishing characteristics. Form, content and genealogy were triangulated into a series of interwoven strands that formed a paradigm for Maori cultural relativity and relevance. This paradigm, Te Tataitanga Kaupapa Toi, led to the evolution of a trans-cultural framework that incorporated six key indices: genealogy, knowledge, appearance, process, site and protocol. The research showed that in the absence of visual correspondence and empathy, content must be made explicit. However, the research findings concluded that because form and content are not necessarily conditioned by ethnicity, the genealogy of the artist is a further critical determinant for resonance.

Professor Mason Durie
Dr R Neich

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