Cook Islands' Art

Cook Islands' Art

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Description

The small, scattered islands of the Cook group - the only islands in the Pacific to bear the name of the famous eighteenth century navigator - occupy a central position in both Pacific geography and Polynesian art. Unfortunately, little of the material culture which Captain Cook might have seen in these islands survives today. Yet those artects which are preserved in museums clearly indicate the exisstence prior to European contact of a rich artistic tradition and a remarkable level of crafsmanship in a variety of materials: stone, shell, ivory, wood, leaf and feathers. The peak of Cook Islands art is woodcarving, characterised by a sophisticated repertoire of sculptural forms, elaborate carved and painted decoration and superb finish. The author describes the range and diversity of Cook Islands art, including both ceremonial and functional objects. The materials employed, the processes of manufacture and the function of the objects within the context of traditional island society are outlined. Today Cook Islands life is changing rapidly, but the skills of the past are still alive, needing only a little encouragement to flourish as before.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 64 pages
  • 149.6 x 210.1 x 5.1mm | 119.44g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • SHIRE PUBLICATIONS LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • b&w illustrations and plans
  • 0747800618
  • 9780747800613

Table of contents

Introduction; The Cook Islands; Religious wood-carving; Functional wood-carving; Other materials; Cook Islands art today; Museums; Further readingshow more

About Dale Idiens

An arts graduate of the University of Leicester, Dale Idiens became Assistant Keeper in charge of the ethnographic collections of the Royal Scottish Museums (now the National Museum of Scotland) in 1964. These collections include a large Polynesian section with important Cook Islands material. As part of a project to develop the Cook Islands collection Dale Idiens visited Rarotonga in 1982 in order to commission replicas of traditional artefacts. Since 1983 she has been Keeper of the Department of History and Applied Art in the National Museums of Scotland. She has wide interests in Pacific art, African textiles and North American Indian art and has published in all these fields.show more

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