Story: Ngā tuakiri hōu – new Māori identities

Plastic Māori

Plastic Māori

These vividly coloured hei tiki lollipops by artist Wayne Youle are made from synthetic resin. They appeared in an exhibition called 'Plastic Māori' at the NewDowse gallery in Lower Hutt in 2009. Curator Reuben Friend said the slang term 'plastic Māori' 'refers to a Māori person who is culturally uninformed, but pretends to know their stuff. The show looks at the issue of cultural authenticity in contemporary Māori art, and plays with these ideas of artificial identity and fabrication.'

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Sculpture by Wayne Youle

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Courtesy of Wayne Youle

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How to cite this page:

Rawiri Taonui, 'Ngā tuakiri hōu – new Māori identities - New terms for a new world', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 December 2021)

Story by Rawiri Taonui, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017