Page 1



By Yasmine van Maasakker BA Graphic Communications, University of Northampton 15.05.2016

MAORI RELIGION The Māori natural world teemed with gods and unseen beings and required thoughtful navigation. Tohunga (priests) assisted people with special incantations and rites to appease the gods. NGĀ ATUA In Māori tradition, creation began with the atua (gods). First came Te Kore (the void), then Te Pō (the night) and then Te Ao Mārama (the world of light). The children of Papatūānuku (earth mother) and Ranginui (sky father) included Tāne, god of forests, Tangaroa, god of the sea, Rongo, god of cultivated food, and Tūmatauenga, god of war. Tāne made the first woman, Hineahuone, and married her. Human beings are descended from this union. TOHUNGA Tohunga were either priests or experts in a certain field, for example tohunga whakairo were expert carvers. Atua and spirits could communicate through a tohunga, who would speak in a different voice. Tohunga ensured people carried out the correct rituals when they gathered food or went to war. Matakite were people who could see into the future, or could see events happening elsewhere. Many tohunga were also matakite. SPIRITUAL IDEAS People had power called mana which came from the ancestors. First-born children and tohunga had greater mana than others. Living things and objects could be affected by tapu. There were ceremonies to remove tapu so they were noa (ordinary, free from restrictions). A person’s spirit was known as wairua. Wairua could leave the body and go wandering. KARAKIA Tohunga communicated with the atua using karakia. There were many different types of karakia, including simple children’s karakia.

RITUALS When babies were born they were dedicated to a god at a ceremony called tohi. It was one of several rituals performed after childbirth. Sometimes a tohunga or chief would make a place or thing tapu, so people’s behaviour was restricted. This was called a rāhui. When people went fishing, they threw their first catch back to Tangaroa. The first bird caught was offered to Tāne, and the first kūmara to Rongo. TŪĀHU AND WĀHI TAPU Shrines made of stones were built away from villages. These tūāhu were tapu. Other places, for example burial grounds, were also wāhi tapu (tapu places). The latrine (toilet) was also tapu. source: more:

INFASTRUCTURE SENSITIVE INFORMATION IN MAORI CULTURE In Maori culture, certain concepts are considered taboo that are not taboo in western culture. For example, the Maori word “tapu”, reflects something that is holy or sacred. For Maori, the human body and anything associated with it are tapu. So, these parts should be treated with great respect. For example, photographing a body is culturally unacceptable to Maori because the head is the most sacred part of the body for many Polynesian tribes including Maori. Therefore, permission should be obtained to touch a Maori person’s head or any other body part. “Whakapapa” is the genealogical descent of all living creatures from gods to the present time [3], and is believed to be an identifier of an individual’s intrinsic tapu [4]. Thus, Whakapapa information should only be accessed by individuals after having consulted with the relevant tribes. Also, Maori are sensitive about aggregated data as well. An example of aggregated data is the data collected

in the -NCSP, that combines several smear results from different individuals. These aggregated and anonymous data have enormous spiritual and cultural significance for Maori because they contain statistics about Maori that will reveal more profound cultural behaviors belonging to a Maori community. For instance, this aggregated information can be a collective information about descendants and members of the “whanau”. Whanau is a wider concept than just an immediate family made of parents and siblings. The whanau links people of one family to a common ancestor. Each member is an identifiable individual in the whanau [5]. For this aspect, a special group named “Kaitiaki” [10] group is established to protect the aggregated data of Maori women on the NCSP. Moreover, another cultural aspect of whanau is that the information is normally shared with its members. This means that, if a family member is sick, the whanau is involved from day one [6]. MĀORI POPULATION BEFORE 1840 Before Europeans arrived in New Zealand, Māori life expectancy was higher than that in Britain. But in the 19th century introduced diseases and land loss took a heavy toll on the Māori population, leading to dramatic predictions of their demise. However, things improved over the 20th century. In the late 18th century there were probably about 100,000 Māori in New Zealand. Māori life expectancy was about 30 – higher than in Britain. Māori had high birth and death rates, so natural increase of the population was low. Decline After Pākehā arrived and settled in New Zealand, introduced diseases such as influenza and measles decimated the Māori population. Intertribal musket wars killed people, but fewer died than from disease. The loss of Māori land and resources also had a negative effect. Death rates increased and the birth rate fell because of disease and malnutrition. Child mortality was very high – of Māori girls born in the 1890s, 40% died before their first birthday. Some Pākehā believed that Māori would die out altogether.In 1896 the Māori population reached a low of about 42,000.

Improvement In the early 20th century the Māori population began to increase. Community health programmes initiated by Māori doctors such as Māui Pōmare and Peter Buck helped improve life expectancy, and the birth rate rose. However, Māori still had high levels of poverty and malnutrition. They had lost their economic base, and had to find paid work to replace it – often seasonal employment in meat works or shearing. Urbanisation and growth After the Second World War many Māori moved to cities to find employment. By 1971, 71% of Māori lived in urban areas (compared with just 26% in 1945). It was one of the fastest urban transitions recorded anywhere before the 1970s. Māori death rates fell, and the birth rate remained high, so the population grew. Previously most Māori had worked in primary industries such as farming, but now many found jobs in manufacturing. 1970s onwards In the 1970s the Māori birth rate fell, as Māori women began using the contraceptive pill. In the 2000s things had improved socially and economically for Māori, but their life expectancy was still lower than that of Pākehā. Since 1990 many Māori have moved overseas. In the 2006 Australian census almost 93,000 people said they had Māori ethnicity. TOURISM The 19th century New Zealand’s first tourist attractions were the thermal areas of the central North Island. Tūwharetoa chief Horonuku Te Heuheu gifted Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe and Ruapehu mountains to the government. They became the basis of Tongariro National Park.Pākehā tourists began visiting the hot springs around Rotorua. At first the thermal areas were controlled by local Māori, who earned plenty of money from tourists. Some Māori tour guides became well known.The main attraction was the Pink and White Terraces, but they were lost in 1886 when Mt Tarawera erupted.

Shift in power By the end of the 19th century the government had bought most of the land containing thermal springs. The government began to control tourism. Māori became employees, or were put on show to display Māori culture. Māori culture Māori art and performance have often featured in tourism. Some buildings were carved especially for tourists, and kapa haka concert parties travelled overseas to perform.The Māori Arts and Crafts Institute was set up in Rotorua in the 1960s to train carvers and weavers. Tourists could visit and buy the products.The toi iho trademark was developed to identify authentic, high-quality Māori arts and crafts. Resurgence of Māori tourism In the early 2000s many international visitors were interested in Māori culture. In 2006 more than half a million tourists experienced Māori cultural activities during their visit.Rotorua was still the centre of cultural tourism, but other Māori tourist businesses had been set up around the country. Many were small and family-run. They included Whale Watch Kaikōura, a replica Māori village run by Tamaki Tours, and kayaking, jet boating and glacier trips in the South Island with Ngāi Tahu Tourism. Source: handle/10523/977/dp2007-03.pdf?sequence=3&isAllowed=y - -

FASHION Traditionally, Māori made their clothes and adornments from native plants, and bird and animal skins. There was a great variety of garments, including many kinds of cloaks. Clothing, adornments and even hairstyles showed a lot about a person’s status, and fine clothes could enhance

mana. As well as protecting against the rain and cold, traditional Māori garments were used to protect modesty and to show the wearer’s status. MATERIALS When the ancestors of the Māori came to New Zealand they had to adjust to a new climate, and to use new plants and animals to make their clothing. They used plants such as harakeke (New Zealand flax), cabbage trees and grasses to make fabrics. They also used birds’ feathers and skins, and the skins of seals and kurī (Polynesian dogs). WEAVING Maori garments were hand woven, using both plaiting and weft-twining techniques. The skill of weaving natural materials into fabric was passed down within families by women. Many techniques were used to create patterns and to make fabric with different qualities. The art of traditional weaving was in decline in the first half of the 20th century until groups and programmes were started to preserve the skill. PRESTIGE CLOAKS The most special cloaks were worn only by chiefs. These included cloaks made of kurī skin and hair, full-feathered cloaks and kaitaka, which are made of finely woven flax fibre. PRACTICAL GARMENTS Rain capes were shorter than cloaks, and kept the wearer dry. They were usually made from flax or cabbage-tree leaves. In the 2000s rain capes were sometimes worn by waka (canoe) paddlers. Māori generally walked barefoot, but sometimes made sandals from flax, cabbage-tree leaves or mountain grass for crossing rocky ground. HAIRSTYLES Hairstyles could show someone’s status, or indicate when someone was in mourning. Men’s hair was twisted or knotted into many different kinds of topknots, which might indicate where the wearer came from. There is less information about women’s hairstyles, but stories record that chiefly women, or women about to sacrifice

themselves, often dressed their hair. Because the head was considered the most tapu (sacred) part of the body, the hair of a high-ranking person could only be dressed by someone of even higher status. Decorative combs, ochre (red clay) and oils extracted from plants and animals were used to dress hair.

Weaving women Weaving is traditionally done by women and skilled weavers are prized within their tribes. ‘Aitia te wahine o te pā harakeke’ is a Māori proverb that translates to mean ‘Marry the woman who is always at the flax bush, for she is an expert flax worker and an industrious person’.

HEAD ADORNMENTS Decorative combs made of bone, stone or wood were traditionally worn only by men of high status, though were later adopted by women. Feathers were commonly used in headdresses. Sometimes the entire tail of a huia might be worn. When in mourning many tribes wore wreaths of greenery on their heads. This tradition continued in the 2000s. Large black mourning caps were sometimes also worn.

Cloaks of beauty Traditionally, cloaks were woven by hand between two upright weaving pegs. Feathers and decorative threads were integrated into the fabric as the weaving progressed. Natural dyes were used to achieve a variety of colours; paru (swamp mud) was used to achieve a black tone and tanekaha (bark) produced brown. The kahu kuri was the most prized of cloaks, incorporating strips of dog skin. The kuri (native Polynesian dog) came to New Zealand with the first Māori. Kahu kuri were only worn by rangatira (chiefs).

JEWELLERY Necklaces and pendants were made from stone and bone. Hei tiki are neck pendants carved into a human-like form. Some pendants were perfumed with aromatic gums or oils. As well as stone and bone, ear pendants were sometimes made of bird tails, skin or feathers, or even live birds. Source: More:

ART RARANGA – THE ART OF WEAVING When Māori first arrived in Aotearoa, they encountered a climate that was extreme compared to their homelands in Polynesia. They adapted quickly by utilising their existing twining and weaving skills to produce korowai (cloaks) and other practical objects such as kete (baskets) and whāriki (mats). The most widely used weaving material was (and still is) harakeke - otherwise known as New Zealand flax.

WHAKAIRO – THE ART OF CARVING Rather than purely being decorative, whakairo (Māori carvings) each give a unique narrative. The stories passed down through generations explain cultural traditions and tribal history. Traditionally Māori carvers were men; their craft included precious adornments, weapons, tools, musical instruments, canoes and decorative panels and posts for the various buildings within the village. A sign of prestige Precious adornments were (and are still) worn as a sign of prestige; they included ear pendants, breast pendants and carved combs worn in the hair. These were made from pounamu (jade or greenstone), whale ivory and whale bone, although other materials, like albatross feathers and sharks teeth, were also incorporated. Pounamu from the South Island is highly prized for its beauty and strength, and is still used for making adornments today. Symbols and patterns Maori carvings are rich in symbolism and use common patterns, though styles differ between tribes. Symbols include the tiki, which

represents the human figure, and the manaia, a creature with bird-like head and serpent-like body, associated with guardianship. Traditional patterns used in carving were often inspired by the natural environment, including spider webs (pungawerewere), fish scales (unaunahi) and the unfurling fronds of the fern (koru). DANCE Auckland-based Taiao toured throughout New Zealand, performing and holding workshops and classes. The group was sometimes seen as a direct descendant of the pioneering Māori dance group Te Kanikani O Te Rangatahi. PREFORMING ARTS ‘Kia kōrero te katoa o te tinana – the whole body should speak,’ said haka master Henare Teowai of this traditional art form. Kapa haka has adapted to contemporary times, while continuing to draw on its traditional roots. Kapa haka means traditional Māori dances performed by a group standing in rows. Tribes’ reputations were based on their ability to perform haka (dances) and the expertise of the haka leader. There are many different types of haka, appropriate for different occasions. Waiata (songs) are also an important part of kapa haka. In tradition, the first kapa haka was associated with the chief Tinirau. He told a group of women to perform for his enemy, Kae. 19th-century kapa haka Christian missionaries tried to stop Māori practising haka, waiata and sacred chants. They encouraged Māori to sing hymns and European songs instead. In the 1880s kapa haka groups began performing for tourists, often using European melodies with Māori words. Some concert groups toured overseas. Important visitors such as the British royal family were welcomed with traditional ceremonies, including haka. Kapa haka was also featured at celebrations of Māori organisations such as the Ringatū Church and the Kīngitanga (Māori King movement).

20th-century changes In the early 20th century kapa haka groups began performing modern waiata-ā-ringa (action songs). Many new songs were written around that time. During the First World War Māori leader Āpirana Ngata encouraged kapa haka parties to raise money for the Māori Soldiers’ Fund. He collected many traditional waiata and speeches. Kapa haka costumes combined traditional Māori clothing with modern garments. These included piupiu (flax kilts). Groups often used western instruments, mostly guitars. Urban groups and competitions As Māori moved to the cities, kapa haka groups were formed in urban areas. They helped people connect with their culture, and preserved Māori language and customs. Many groups involved a number of different tribes. A kapa haka competition was held at the 1934 Waitangi Day celebrations. There were contests around the country, and in 1972 the first Polynesian Festival was held. From 1983 it was a Māori-only competition. Called Te Matatini from 2004, this biennial national competition attracts 40 competing teams, 2,000 performers and an audience of 30,000. In the 2000s kapa haka was offered as a subject in universities, and was practised in schools and military institutions. It continued to evolve, with haka and waiata being written on contemporary and political subjects. Source: maori-arts/ taiao-1990

ARCHITECTURE MĀORI ARCHITECTURE – WHARE MĀORI The whare whakairo (carved meeting house) is seen as synonymous with Māori architecture. These beautiful houses are often named after – and seen as the personification of – ancestors. In the 2000s

contemporary Māori architects continued to draw on Māori concepts and values in their work. EARLY MĀORI BUILDINGS The first known dwellings of the ancestors of Māori were based on houses in their Polynesian homelands. In New Zealand these buildings were semi-permanent, as people moved around looking for food sources. Houses had wooden frames covered in reeds or leaves, with mats on earth floors. To help people keep warm, houses were small, with low doors, earth insulation and a fire inside. Around the 15th century communities became bigger and more settled. People built wharepuni – sleeping houses with room for several families, and a front porch. Other buildings included pātaka (storehouses), sometimes decorated with carvings, and kāuta (cooking houses). ORIGINS IN TRADITION Ngāti Porou ancestor Ruatepupuke is said to have established the tradition of whare whakairo (carved meeting houses) on the East Coast. Whare whakairo are often named after ancestors and considered to embody that person. The house is seen as an outstretched body, and can be addressed like a living being. RISE OF WHARE WHAKAIRO The first whare whakairo were probably built in the mid-19th century. It was a time of great change for Māori, and larger houses let communities meet to discuss issues. Designers combined the carved decorations of pātaka with the porches of wharepuni, and increased the size of houses. European materials were also used. Houses built for the prophet Te Kooti were decorated with paint rather than carvings. At Parihaka in Taranaki, thatched whare were replaced by European-style houses. Prophet Rua Kēnana based his Hīona courthouse in the Urewera on biblical descriptions of Solomon’s temple.

REVIVAL By the 1920s the traditional arts of building whare whakairo were in decline. MP Āpirana Ngata worked to revive these. A school of Māori arts and crafts was set up in 1927 and constructed houses for communities. Women were not allowed on building sites due to tapu, but got involved making tukutuku (decorative woven panels). The carving school closed in 1938. It had produced many carvers and craftspeople, who went on to teach others. CONTEMPORARY MĀORI ARCHITECTURE From the 1960s marae complexes were built in urban areas. They included buildings such as wharepaku (toilets) and whare ora (health centres). Meeting houses were still one large space with a porch and one door and window in front. In the 1980s marae began to be built in prisons, schools and universities. John Scott and Wiremu Royal were among the first Māori architects and architectural designers working outside traditional architecture. Scott designed Futuna Chapel in Karori, Wellington. Others include Rau Hoskins and Rewi Thompson. Their buildings draw on Māori concepts and values. Source: more:

TRADITIONS FOOD Māori traditionally ate a mix of cultivated, hunted and gathered foods. In the 21st century many traditional ingredients and preparation techniques remained important, and some had been adapted to modern tastes. Important foods included whitebait, the seaweed karengo, huhu grubs, pikopiko (fern shoots), karaka berries and toroi – a dish of fresh mussels with pūhā (sow thistle) juice.

TATTOOING The tattooing practised across Polynesia developed unique forms in New Zealand, with deeply grooved scars and spiral motifs. While facial moko became less common after European settlement, from the late 20th century there was a renaissance of both the full-face moko worn by men and the moko kauae (chin tattoos) of women. Origins Tattooing is common throughout the Pacific Islands. In New Zealand, Māori developed techniques to cut deeply into the skin, producing grooved scars. The spiral motifs are distinctively Māori. Moko originated in rituals of mourning for the dead. Women would haehae (cut) themselves with shells or obsidian and put soot in the wounds. In tradition, tā moko was brought from the underworld by a chief called Mataora, who married a tūrehu (spirit) called Niwareka. She fled to the underworld after he hit her. He followed and was taught tā moko techniques by her father, Uetonga. Technology The pigment used in tā moko was usually made from charcoal mixed with oil or liquid from plants. Known as wai ngārahu, it was stored in special containers. Uhi (chisels) for tattooing were traditionally made from the bones of sea birds. Māori also had comblike instruments for putting pigment into skin. Metal chisels were used after European arrival, and by the First World War needles were used. From the later 20th century most tattooists used tattoo machines. Tohunga tā moko The process of tā moko was highly skilled, and tohunga tā moko (tattoo experts) were greatly respected. They were paid with treasures such as weapons, cloaks and greenstone. The process was very ritualised and tapu (sacred), and the person being tattooed was fed using a special funnel. Status Moko represented a person’s mana (status), and some chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi reproduced their moko as signatures. However,

some people of very high rank were considered so tapu that they could not be tattooed.

the natural world. For example, Tāne became the god of the forests and Tangaroa the god of the sea.

Moko today During early European settlement, preserved tattooed heads were sold as souvenirs and collectors’ items. Māori with moko were sometimes killed for their heads, leading to a decline in the practice of tā moko. Some Māori killed their slaves and then tattooed them. These heads, called mokomōkai, were sold to overseas museums. From the 1980s many mokomōkai were brought back to New Zealand. Māori women continued to receive moko kauae (chin and lip tattoos) into the 1950s. From the 1970s Māori gang members wore moko as part of their gang insignia. From the 1980s the Māori renaissance encouraged tā moko as a way to express Māori or tribal identity.

Variations Different tribes have their own variations of the creation story. In some of these, the god Tāne plays an important role in separating earth and sky. Others talk about a supreme being, called Io. Not all tribes have an Io tradition, and Māori and Pākehā historians have debated whether Io is a preEuropean or post-European concept.

CREATION TRADITIONS Every culture has its traditions about how the world was created. Māori have many of them, but the most important stories are those that tell how darkness became light, nothing became something, earth and sky were separated, and nature evolved. Through the spoken repetition of these stories, the world is constantly being recreated.

The influence of creation traditions Creation stories have influenced many aspects of the Māori view of the world. The gods who shaped the natural world, for instance, are seen as role models for human behaviour. And the repetition of stories and genealogies is seen as a creative act that mimics the original creation of the world.

Common themes Like all societies, Māori have traditions about how the world was created. Although various tribes tell different versions of the creation story, there are some themes in common. Most describe movement from Te Kore (nothingness) to something, and from Te Pō (darkness) to Te Ao (light). The separation of earth and sky always features, as does talk of how the gods were responsible for making the natural world. The separation of earth and sky In the beginning Ranginui (the sky) and Papatūānuku (the earth) were joined together, and their children were born between them in darkness. The children decided to separate their parents, to allow light to come into the world. After this, the children became gods of various parts of

Creation and renewal Often creation is summed up in lists, showing processes in the natural world. For example, the growth of a seed is described in a list that traces the movement from shoot to hair root. These whakapapa (genealogies) emphasise how life is constantly being recreated.

TRIBES The Bay of Plenty is the homeland of the tribes of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāi Tai, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, and some tribes of the Te Arawa confederation. The history of the bay, from the arrival of canoe voyagers from Eastern Polynesia some 700 years ago, is recorded in place names and traditions. The Māori name for the Bay of Plenty is Te Moana a Toi (the sea of Toi), commemorating the legendary ancestor Toitehuatahi, also known as Toikairākau. THE MATAATUA CANOE The Mataatua, captained by Toroa, landed at Te Mānuka Tūtahi, in present-day Whakatāne. Tradition tells of the rāhui (prohibition) imposed on the coastline generations ago by Muriwai, the captain’s sister. When her two children drowned

at Tauranga Moana (Tauranga Harbour), Muriwai banned food-gathering and fishing from the area, which she defined as, ‘Mai Ngā Kurī a Whārei ki Tihirau’ – from west of the Bowentown Heads to Cape Runaway. Toi’s son Awanuiarangi, and his great-grandson, also named Awanuiarangi (and a grandson of Toroa), are important ancestors for Ngāti Awa. Inland, the Ngāi Tūhoe people trace descent from Tūhoe-pōtiki, who had ancestors from the Mataatua canoe, and local forebears. How Whakatāne got its name When the Mataatua canoe landed near the site of present-day Whakatāne, the men went ashore. While they were gone, the canoe began to drift out to sea. Ngāti Awa tradition says that Wairaka, daughter of the captain Toroa, seized a paddle and cried, ‘Me whakatāne au i ahau nei!’ (I must act like a man!). She and the other women saved the canoe. Wairaka is now commemorated by a statue on a rock at Whakatāne. THE NUKUTERE CANOE The Nukutere landed near Ōpape, east of Ōpōtiki, carrying the chief Tautūrangi. One of his descendants was Tūtāmure of the Te Whakatōhea tribe. He married Hine-i-kauia, the daughter of Muriwai who arrived on the Mataatua. This union linked the Nukutere and Mataatua lineages. THE TE ARAWA AND TAINUI CANOES The coupled canoes Te Arawa and Tainui first landed at Whangaparāoa, at the foot of Cape Runaway. To the west, Maketū was the final landfall of Te Arawa. The steersman Tamatekapua claimed the Maketū headland, crying, ‘That point there is the bridge of my nose.’ Other chiefs followed suit, establishing authority over different parts of the western Bay. THE TĀKITIMU CANOE The Ngāti Ranginui people of Tauranga trace their descent from the Tākitimu canoe. An important ancestor is Tamatea-pōkai-whenua (Tamatea who circled the land). The tribe now shares the area with Ngāi Te Rangi, who have Mataatua affiliations.

THE RISE OF NGĀI TE RANGI Many generations ago the chief Te Rangihouhiri and his people conquered Maketū from the descendants of the Te Arawa people. Te Rangihouhiri died, but under his son Kotorerua the tribe also wrested Mauao (Mt Maunganui) from the Ngāti Ranginui and Waitaha tribes. Today the tribe is known as Ngāi Te Rangi. The Waitaha people migrated inland while Ngāti Ranginui retreated to the forest margins of the western Bay. Subsequently, strategic marriages interlinked the Māori people of Tauranga.


LANDMARKS Whakaari (White Island) has important tribal associations for Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Te Whakatōhea and Ngāti Awa. Pūtauaki (Mt Edgecumbe) is significant for the people of Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, who are close kin. Whanokao, in the Raukūmara Range, is an important boundary marker between Te Whānau-āApanui and Ngāti Porou. Tūhua (Mayor Island) is a source of volcanic glass (known as obsidian or tūhua), an invaluable cutting material. Archaeological research shows that Mayor Island obsidian was dispersed not just in the Bay of Plenty but throughout New Zealand. Investigations have also revealed many areas of cultivation and fortification in the Bay, as described in Māori oral traditions. Source:

HUMOUR IN TRADITIONAL STORIES Humour features in traditional Māori myths and stories. One example is the story of Kahungunu, ancestor of Ngāti Kahungunu iwi, who wanted to marry Rongomaiwahine. He caused a fight between her and her husband by farting. The couple blamed each other for the bad smell.

STORYTELLING Humour has always been an important part of Māori culture and features in myths, speeches and songs. Many of New Zealand’s best-known comedians, such as Billy T. James, have been Māori and included a Māori sensibility in their work.



HUMOUR IN SPEECH-MAKING AND SONG Humour is often used in whaikōrero (speeches), partly to hold the audience’s attention. Sometimes speeches at tangihanga are funny. Many traditional songs have comic elements. Source: More:







ABORIGINALS RELIGION SHORT A key aspect of Australian aboriginal belief is the Dreaming. At the heart of this is the belief in powerful beings who arose out of the land, created or gave birth to people, plant life and animal life, and connected particular groups of people with particular regions and languages. The Dreaming beings continue to control the natural world, but their willingness to release the powers of fertility depends upon people continuing to perform certain rituals. People are believed to possess spirits which originate from the dreaming. As children grow up they undergo a variety of rites of passage which initiate them into adulthood. Boys would be subjected to practices such as, circumcision, subincision into the urethra, blood letting or tooth pulling. Girls would be ritually decorated, and subject to partial seclusion or food taboos. Totemism was also important to the aboriginal world view. The representation of mythic or living beings was seen to provide the means to access the spiritual powers of the Dreaming. SPIRITUAL Aboriginal people are spiritual though they had no formal religion. The word spirit has many different meanings. For example it can be used to refer to the immaterial part of a human being often called his or her soul or to the personality of people when they are said to have a courageous or cowardly spirit. Or to describe qualities of people or (other) animals when they are said to be high spirited. Spirit can also refer to supernatural beings such as a deity (god) or to evil manifestation such as ghosts. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians believed in a number of spirits. In particular to ancestral spirits; a personal spirit; animal spirits, deceased spirits or ghosts and evil spirits. Their beliefs were founded - like every other aspect of their life - on Dreamtime myths which informed

them that their world had been created by was filled with the supernatural. This was something to be taken notice of and was the basis of them being very superstitious people. Animal Spirits: During the Dreamtime the creators made spirits of every living creature including that of every animal, bird, reptile, insect and form of marine life (etc). Wherever they rested the creators left the spirits of living creatures behind them. This was the origin of life. The Aborigines believed they were intrinsically linked to every other ‘species’ because of the actions of the creators. They also believed that it was their personal responsibility to ensure the continuation of ‘animal’ life through the concept of taking care. This involved the singing of songs and performing of ceremonies which were believed to ensure the continuation of the birth of each species. During the Dreamtime the creators had metamorphosed into various forms of animals, birds and other species. Individuals were linked to the creators through totemic relationships and did not eat their personal totem. To do so would be a form of cannibalism. The practice had the effect of providing a safe sanctuary for different species. ATSI people also believed that particular animal spirits could harm living people. For example they believed that killing a willy-wagtail would result in the spirit of this bird becoming angry and to the creation of storms of violence which could destroy others. Evil Spirits: A number of Dreamtime stories related stories of evil spirits. One Queensland story recorded by A.W. Howitt told of a group who went to hunt and fish leaving behind two boys in camp, with instructions not to leave the camp: The boys played about for a time in the camp, and then getting tired of it, went down to the beach where a Thugine came out of the sea, and being always on the watch for unprotected children, caught the two boys and turned them into rocks that now stand between Double Island Point and Inskip Point and have deep water close to them. ‘Here you see’, the old men used to say, ‘the result of not paying attention to what you are told by your elders’.”

The Thugine mentioned in this story is one of hundreds of evil spirits whose evil deeds were recorded in stories and songs. Along the southeast coast of New South Wales evil spirits were and are known as Goonges. Generally speaking contemporary Aboriginal people still believe in these spirits. For example if they go to a particular area they believe they must be invited to stay there; if they are not welcome they will feel this and to remain there under these circumstances will result in being punished. Punishment may mean death or injury and this may extend to other members of a family. Some areas are forbidden to women because the male spirits that are believed to live there will punish them if they disobey the trespassing laws. Beliefs in spirits and ghosts among Aboriginal Australians was common to all tribes throughout the continent, although there were a number of variations in the actual names that were used to describe them. Contextually the beliefs were one aspect of Aboriginal culture and need to be understood from their perspective. Modern day Western understanding tends to ‘see’ body, mind and spirit as separate entities, which we somehow or other manage to unite into concepts of person or oneness. This understanding can lead to skepticism about spirit as this has largely become associated with religious beliefs. Traditional Aborigines did not think this way. They certainly understood the separate concepts of body and spirit, but in such a way that they seen as being united with other people and every other living creature, in a unique oneness. This applied to the past, present and future in an ontology (philosophy) that humanism, rationalism and science cannot understand. The Australian Aborigines believed that the land they lived in (and owned) along with all it contained (every rock, tree, waterhole and cave), was created for them during the Dreamtime. In some areas of the continent the creators were all-powerful figures such as Biami. In other areas creation was the result of the actions of ancestral heroes and heroines. In Central Australia

the Tnatantja Pole was responsible for forming mountain ranges and valleys. Source: westoc/abor.html

INFRASTRUCTURE HOW DO THEY LIVE? Before the invasion, Aboriginal people lived throughout Australia, although the highest population density was along the coast. Here, people seem to have moved seasonally between permanent settlements near the sea and others at the headwaters of the coast rivers. Evidence suggests that these communities managed their environment carefully to ensure a steady supply of food, bringing wild yams into gardens which they irrigated, for example, or building artificial dykes to extend the range of eels. Those Aboriginal tribes who lived inland in the bush and the desert lived by hunting and gathering, burning the undergrowth to encourage the growth of plants favoured by the game they hunted. They were experts in seeking out water. Today more than half of all Aboriginals live in towns, often on the outskirts in terrible conditions. Many others work as labourers on cattle ranches that have taken over their land. Many, particularly in the northern half of the continent, have managed to cling on to their land and still hunt and gather ‘bush tucker’. HOMES Aboriginal people were social beings as they lived and gathered together in family groups . Their camps were comprised of a number of gunyas (bark huts), but the people also lived in caves or in the open air. Some camps were comprised of as few as 6 to 10 people while in others there were up to 400 people. No doubt the availability of food was a factor in the size of a camp. Each day, various members of the group would leave the camp to hunt and gather food and return to the camp to share the catch with others. During the 1830s William Govett (surveyor), visited

a camp and recorded (in Sketches of New South Wales), that the people usually settled in their camp as night fell and were engaged in a number of activities - normal family life - sharing stories about the happenings of the day, repairing weapons, singing songs and playing games etc. Govett described a young man in one gunya using double sets of strings to make diamonds, squares, circles and other shapes. He also told of an adult amusing a young child by placing a leaf on the back of his left hand, striking it with his finger causing the leaf to ascend perpendicularly to the squeals of delight from the child. Aboriginal people lived in family groups. The Elder or Elders gunyah (hut) were situated in the center of the camp and others spanned out in circles around the central hut. However, the people often slept in the open and in caves, so it is likely that the Elder decided where he wanted to sleep with his wife or wives and everyone one else spreadout from the spot he had chosen. No doubt some people were more important than others and the most important ones camped near the Elders. SOCIETY Aboriginal Australians were social beings who lived in a number of social groups sometimes called bands, clans, sub-tribes and tribes, but essentially in a family or kinship group who were 1) of the same blood-line and 2) were related to other people through totems. The social groupings of ATSI people meant that their relationships were far more extensive than our own method of identifying people as mother, father, brother, sister and cousins (etc). Aboriginal relationships are difficult to understand but the relationships of an Aboriginal male child are detailed in following script (with western ones shown in brackets), to give some idea of them: The family was usually comprised of father’s father (grandfather) and often his brother or brothers who was / were known also known as father’s father (no western equivalent); his wife or wives (grandmother); a father (father) and perhaps his brothers (uncles) who was also considered to be an Aboriginal male child’s father.

Each family group had a headman or Elder who was the leader of the unit. He decided when to move camp and settled disputes Food such as oysters, mussels and pippies were enjoyed. Sometimes they cooked them on the ashes of a fire and the Sydney Aborigines are known to have taken a fire with them aboard their canoes when they went fishing. This meant they could cook and eat their catch as they continued catching fish. They also took some of their catch back to the camp to share with others, but eating food while catching it gave them the energy to collect sufficient quantity for others. Animals, birds and reptiles were also caught and cooked on an open fire. However they ‘scorched’ rather than cooked these foods. In other words, they did not roast the joint of a kangaroo like Europeans do today. For example by placing a leg of lamb in an oven for an hour or two. The Aborigines simply singed the food to remove feathers, scales and fur and ate partly cooked meat. Other sources of food included yams (sweet potatoes), berries and intestines such as liver (yuck). But they generally hunted and collected the wide variety of food that was available in the places in which they lived. One food that was cooked by the Aborigines was a type of bread which was also popular among early European settlers who called it damper. This is made by grinding seeds into flour, mixing this with water into a doughy paste and cooking it in the ashes of a warm fire. The Aborigines lived within a tribal territory where they obtained their daily food needs. Some tribes lived in desert country, while others lived in mountain, coastal or timbered areas. This meant that the members of different tribes ate different foods. It also meant that some of them were constantly on the move hunting and gathering. Others lived a semi-nomadic life in areas where there were amply food supplies. The Eora / Dharawal people who lived on the

coastal area between the Hawkesbury River and the Shoalhaven River were hunters and gatherers of fish, shellfish, plants and animals. They caught fish such as bream, groper, snapper and whiting; collected shellfish including oysters (rock and mud), cockles and conniwink. Plant foods included: native cherries, the cabbage palm, water lilies, five-corners and pigface. Animals, birds and reptiles such as kangaroos, ducks and snakes were also hunted for consumption purposes. Source: aboriginals

FASHION The Aboriginal people of the Sydney, Illawarra and Shoalhaven district (and most, if not in all parts of Australia), were often observed by early settlers to be naked. The men and women of some tribes are known to have worn a belt around their middle made of hair, animal fur, skin or fiber which they used to carry tools and weapons. These belts often had a flap at the front, however, this was a modification that was added during European colonization when the British colonists and authorities were concerned about modesty and imposed their standards on the Aborigines - who were unashamed of their nakedness. However, Aboriginal people needed to be warm in winter months and did make cloaks which they made from animal skins e.g.., possum skins. They worn them during the day and used them as blankets during the night. A number of skins were needed to make the garment and they were cleaned, dried and sewn together. During colonization individual settlers gave the Aborigines their old clothes (known as slops). So the people were often recorded as wearing a variety of clothes such as army or navy jackets, trousers, petticoats and blouses (etc). From the 1830’s a number of Governors issued English blankets to the Aborigines through

Magistrates and well respected settlers in various parts of the country. The blankets were not as warm as possums skin cloaks and many Aborigines caught influenza and bronchitis and died from these diseases. Source: html


In the Northern Territory, aboriginal art includes sculpture, bark and rock paintings, and baskets and beadwork. Rock carvings and paintings can be found in such places as Arnhem Land, Ubirr, and Nourlangie. Many aborigines earn a living through selling native artworks. BARK PAINTING Bark painting is an Australian Aboriginal art form, involving painting on the interior of a strip of tree bark. This is a continuing form of artistic expression in Arnhem Land and other regions in the Top End of Australia including parts of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Traditionally, bark paintings were produced for instructional and ceremonial purposes and were transient objects. Today, they are keenly sought after by collectors and public arts institutions. The designs seen on authentic bark paintings are traditional designs that are owned by the artist, or his “skin”, or his clan, and cannot be painted by other artists. In many cases these designs would traditionally be used to paint the body for ceremonies or rituals, and also to decorate logs used in burials ceremonies. While the designs themselves are ancient, the medium of painting them on a piece of flattened bark is a relatively modern phenomenon, although there is some evidence that artists would paint designs on the bark walls and roofs of their shelters. AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL FIBRECRAFT Australian Aboriginal fibrecraft refers to the various ways Australian Aborigines created fibers traditionally. Materials used depended on where the people lived in Australia. Bark was used by many people across the continent. This technology is still used today to produce baskets, which

are particularly popular in the tourism industry. Kurrajong bark is a popular bark, as is the bark of river wattles, sand figs, banyans, burney vines and peanut trees. In the north, the more tightly woven styles were made, whereas in the south, a looser stringed bag, popularly known as a dilly bag was made. Hairstring was an important textile traditionally made by Australian Aborigines. People, particularly the women, cut their hair regularly using quartz or flint knives. This hair was never wasted. It was rolled on the thigh and then spun into long threads of yarn. It was then plaited to about the thickness of 8 ply wool. Purposes for the string were manifold. These included making the head ring for resting the coolamon, headbands to keep the hair off the face, spear-making (securing the head to the shaft), and even balls for ball games. A general-purpose belt was made of the string, from which things could be hung, such as small game like goannas in order to free the hands on long walks and hunts. Among some groups, including the Pitjantjajara, a small modesty apron was made of the string for young girls to wear when they reached puberty. People in Central Australia today may talk of a girl having her “string broken”, which can mean sexual abuse, or having sex when she is not ready. Iconography and Symbology ICONOGRAPHY AND SYMBOLOGY The imagery of the Aboriginal culture, as can be seen in many of the sacred sites, rock and cave paintings, used few colors as they were often made from what was available locally. Some colors were mined from Ôochre pitsÕ, being used for both painting and ceremonies, with ochre also traded between clans and at one time could only be collected by specific men within the clan. Other pigments were made from clay, wood ash or animal blood. There were variations in the symbolic representation of some rock art and paintings, depending on the tribe or region of Australia that you belong to, which is still evident today in the modern art work of Aboriginal artists. The dotted motifs of much of today’s Aboriginal modern

design work has become the trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal Art movement. Its iconic status developed from a culture stretching back into the history of an ancient land, evolving and weaving into desert dreamtime stories. STYLES AND THEMES Indigenous art frequently reflects the spiritual traditions, cultural practices and socio-political circumstances of Indigenous people, and these have varied across the country. The works of art accordingly differ greatly from place to place. Major reference works on Australian Indigenous art often discuss works by geographical region. The usual groupings are of art from the Central Australian desert; the Kimberley in Western Australia; the northern regions of the Northern Territory, particularly Arnhem Land, often referred to as the Top End; and northern Queensland, including the Torres Strait Islands. Urban art is also generally treated as a distinct style of Indigenous art, though it is not clearly geographically defined. Source:

ARCHITECTURE HOUSING With much of Australia having a mild climate, people often slept in the open, warmth and comfort provided by the campfire, and often people kept warm by sleeping between two small fires. The dingo, as a camp dog, also slept beside people providing warmth. Aboriginal housing mostly consisted of simple shelters made from a framework of straight branches, then covered with leafy branches or sheets of bark. Larger, more elaborate shelter made from frame of branches, covered with bark. The covering depended on locally available materials at the time. In some areas sheets of soft paperbark, easily pulled from trees, were available. In other areas stiffer sheets of thick stringy-bark were cut from trees, but if these were unavailable, then bushes and leafy branches were used. In the tropical north, where a richer environment allowed people to camp in the one area for longer,

more elaborate structures were built, sometimes elevated platforms with a fire below designed to make smoke and repel mosquitos. One type of simple bark shelter consisted of bending or folding a length of bark and burying the ends into the ground to fix them. In wet and cold conditions, closed dome-shaped shelters were made, commencing with a framework of sticks bent over and meeting in the centre. These were between one to two metres (three to six feet) high and this framework was covered with available materials – sheets of bark when available, but in desert regions, layers of spinifex grass, twigs and leaves. In the tropical north, broad palm fronds were sometimes used, the shelters had one or two entrances, and sometimes were as large as 3 metres across, allowing a small fire to be made inside. While a fire provided warmth in cold conditions, it was also used to make smoke to repel mosquitos when they were bad. The shelters could be closed to prevent either rain or mosquitos entering by placing bushes at the small entrance. Winter shelter covered in spinifex grass used throughout inland Australia. Winter shelter covered in spinifex grass used throughout inland Australia. Very simple wind breaks and lean-tos were used during the day. These were temporary shelters to protect a person or their campfire from the wind, and made in various ways. Where bark was available, this could be curved and placed sideways, partially dug into the ground to fix it. Another way was to construct a simple frame of saplings and make a wall from branches and other vegetation. Sometimes a pile of bushes was used as a low windbreak to protect a daytime fire. In many regions of Australia shallow caves below rock overhangs provided natural shelters from the weather. A bed of paperbark or leaves was used and sometimes the walls were adorned with paintings. Stone housing is only known from two regions of Australia, on High Cliffy Island off the Kimberley coast and in one district of Victoria. In these regions, stone circles about two metres across and 1.5 metres high were erected forming the shelter walls. Branches and vegetation were placed over these to form a roof.

CAMP ARCHITECTURE During the 19th and 20th centuries, camp settlements began to develop around the fringes of towns. The town camps, ranging from one or two dozen people to several hundred, comprised a number of ‘humpies’ constructed from bark, bags, kerosene tins and scraps of wood and corrugated iron sheeting. Humpy floors were made of compacted earth, or sometimes with carpet or lino. Town camps reflected the layout of traditional camps, where structures emphasised external living and a high degree of interaction between people for activities such as cooking, eating, sleeping and washing. While usually built as single-room dwellings, some town camp humpies were added to as families grew. For example, the Wilcannia town camps developed their own distinctive architecture over 50 years as interconnected rooms were added to humpies. Camps were also built on pastoral leases, government reserves and missions using the same architectural principles as the town camps. Town camps reached a peak in the 1950s and 1960s, which coincided with many town laws which excluded Aborigines from entering townsites until the 1967 Referendum. Since the 1970s, town camps have steadily declined and subsequently replaced by conventional Western housing with water supply and sewerage systems. However, town camps around Alice Springs have developed as an alternative and viable structure for clans people from the different language areas around Alice Springs. Tangentyere Council was established to assist Indigenous people, living on the outskirts of Alice Springs, to gain legal ownership so that they could obtain services in the form of water, electricity and housing on the parcels of land. The Council was able to obtain legal status of 18 parcels of land which are now Leases in Perpetuity in favour of the owners of the land. Progress has been made to provide housing, though there is still some way to go and regular maintenance to the housing stock needs to be addressed.

TRADITIONS SPEARS Spears were personal possessions of individual Aboriginal males. Each tribe had their own particular style of spears. Basically, all spears were made from timber or from the stems of plants. They ranged in length from about 1.5 meters to 4 or 5 meters with various forms of points, tips or blades. Some spear tips were prongs which were used to catch fish; others were made from stone flakes while others were made from fish bones and shells. Spears were mainly used for hunting but they were also used in battles. DANCE A corroboree is a ceremonial meeting of Aboriginal Australians. The word was coined by the European settlers of Australia in imitation of the Aboriginal word caribberie. At a corroboree Aborigines interact with the Dreamtime through dance, music and costume. Many ceremonies act out events from the Dreamtime. Many of the ceremonies are sacred and people from outside a community are not permitted to participate or watch. “Their bodies painted in different ways, and they wore various adornments, which were not used every day.” MUSIC The Australian Aborigines used a limited variety of implements to make musical sounds. The didgeridoo (see separate listing) is probably the best known, but others included rattles, clapping sticks and two boomerangs clapped together. However they do not appear to have used drums. The exception may be the Torres Strait Islander people. Another instrument that wasn’t used, was a flute or whistle. The melodies, tunes, harmonies and rhythms of Aboriginal music included traditional ceremonial songs that were handed down from generation to generation. It was very important in Aboriginal thinking, to replicate the songs that had been first played and sung by the ancestors in the Dreamtime. When the traditional music and songs were used, living men considered themselves to be in the Dreamtime. Particularly during initiation

ceremonies. Dreamtime New songs were created from time to time. They told of important events in the history of the tribe. Events such as great battles or hunting expeditions. Other songs and music were for general amusement or entertainment and early European observations of the Aborigines included camp life where the people played games and sang songs around their camp fires. STONE ARRANGEMENTS, RITUAL ART FORM Aboriginal stone arrangements are a ritual art form constructed by Indigenous Australians, and are a form of rock art. Typically, they consist of stones, each of which may be about 30 cm in size, laid out in a pattern extending over several metres or tens of metres. They were made by many different Australian Aboriginal cultures,and in many case are thought to be associated with rituals. In South East Australia are found Bora rings which consist of two circles of stones, one larger than the other, which were used in an initiation ceremony and rite of passage in which boys were transformed into men. BORA A Bora is the name given both to an initiation ceremony of Indigenous Australians, and to the site on which the initiation is performed. At such a site, boys achieve the status of men. The initiation ceremony differs from culture to culture, but often involves circumcision and scarification, and may also involve the removal of a tooth or part of a finger. The ceremony, and the process leading up to it, involves the learning of sacred songs, stories, dances, and traditional lore. Many different clans will assemble to participate in an initiation ceremony. INITIATIONS Boys began a period of initiation from when they were 7 or 8 years of age. The first initiation ceremonies they attended were designed to make them independent on their mothers and other females. At other ceremonies and meetings with

older males they were informed about the history and customs of the tribe and were taught how to survive and to be dependent on other males. Initiation continued over a number of years and boys gradually acquired knowledge through learning stories, attending ceremonies and through education by initiated males. Pain endurance was an important part of initiation of males and was considered to be manly. In theEora / Dharawal tribe teenage boys attended a tooth evulsion ceremony when a front tooth was knocked out during the ceremony. In some tribes boys were circumcised at puberty as a pain endurance test. Initiation was also a time of obedience as boys were expected to comply with food and other taboos during this time. For example Louisa Atkinson reported in her reminiscences of knowing the Aborigines of the south coast of New South Wales (published as A Voice in the Country: Sydney Mail 19th September 1863), that two boys of the Picton area disobeyed a food taboo and were punished by death. ‘For some time the lads are not permitted to mingle with the tribe, or eat particular food. The tooth is knocked out by the point of a boomerang...should they disobey the regulations deadly consequences ensue. This report goes on to report that two initiates killed and ate a duck. Mullich (a Koradji or Clever Man of the area)discovered what they had done: in consequence the lads were surprised when asleep, stunned by a blow of a club, and an insidious poison, administered to them, under which they sank in about three months. Girls did not participate in initiation ceremonies. At puberty they were married and went to live with their husband. However, their mothers and other SHAMAN Almost all of the Koori (preferred name of Australian aboriginies) shaman are initiated within one large group, called “The Dreamers”. This is due to the fact that Australia has some of the

strongest, and chaotic magic, around. All of the shaman are needed to put a check on that chaos. A Koori shaman takes only a small penalty for some tasks when astrally perceiving. As a trade off they are unable to mask. Any magician (full or adept) will notice this, whether or not he can assence. Mundanes even can tell when one of The Dreamers has entered the room. A Koori shaman will rarely travel outside of Australia, the need is too great in the outback for that. White Australian shamans cannot join the dreamers, but some are associated with the koori group. Source: html

STORYTELLING The oral tradition of storytelling informs aboriginals’ vibrant cultural life. Songs illustrate the Dreamtime and other tales of the land, while dances and diagrams drawn in the sand accompany oral tales. MESSAGE STICKS Aboriginal lore (law) required a person who did not ‘belong’ to a particular area, to be invited or granted permission, to enter into the territory of a tribe. In other words, he or she could not simply wander into the land of another tribe. To do so invited hostility that could result in the death of the individual for trespassing. When someone wanted to visit another tribe, they carried a message stick - a piece of bark or timber that was decorated with symbols. These symbols have sometimes been said to have been a written form of language. This is not correct. But they were a form of passport that identified the intent or authority of the bearer and ‘communication’ took place verbally (or by sign language), between the ‘stranger’ and those whom s/he wanted to visit. “The passing of a boundary line by the blacks of another territory was considered as an act of hostility against the denizens of the invaded grounds, and wars were frequently the sequence of such transgressions.” (The Aborigines of Australia, Roderick J Flanagan, 1888, pp 46)

AUSTRALIAN SACRED SITES Aboriginal sacred sites are areas or places in Australia of significant Aboriginal Australian meaning within the animist context of the localised indigenous belief system. Most are somehow related to Aboriginal mythology, known as ‘The Dreaming, or The Dreamtime’. The Dreaming / Dreamtime is a term used to refer collectively to aboriginal religious beliefs. These beliefs endeavour to explain the questions of ultimate human reality, including the origins of humans and animals. The dreaming is a constant phenomenon which includes the past, present and future. They believed that the Spirits who initially inhabited the land were their ancestors and their identity was derived from the spirits from whom they were meant to be descended. Particular tribes had their own totem which was an animal often native to their tribe’s territory. Their way of life was based on their relationship with the land, which they believed to be their origin, sustenance and ultimate destiny. They in turn saw it as their duty to look after the land and take only what they needed. The beliefs of the dreaming are diverse as different tribes have different beliefs which may differ depending on variables such as gender, location and totem. Many sacred traditions and customs took place at these sites. Male sites may be forbidden to women (men’s business) and Female sites may be forbidden to men (women’s business - for example: birthing sites). THE PINNACLES The Pinnacles are limestone formations contained within Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes, Western Australia. The raw material for the limestone of the Pinnacles came from seashells in an earlier epoch rich in marine life. These shells were broken down into lime rich sands which were blown inland to form high mobile dunes. The mechanisms through which the Pinnacles were formed from this raw material are the subject of some controversy, with three mechanisms having been proposed: they were formed from lime leaching from the aeolian sand (wind-blown sand) and by rain cementing the lower levels of the dune

into a soft limestone. Vegetation forms an acidic layer of soil and humus. A hard cap of calcrete develops above the softer limestone. Cracks in the calcrete are exploited by plant roots. The softer limestone continues to dissolve and quartz sand fills the channels that form. Vegetation dies and winds blow away the sand covering the eroded limestone, thus revealing the Pinnacles. they were formed through the preservation of casts of trees buried in coastal aeolianites where roots became groundwater conduits, resulting in precipitation of indurated (hard) calcrete. Subsequent wind erosion of the aeolianite would then expose the calcrete pillars. THE BLUE MOUNTAINS, MYTH The blue mountains were under the ocean 400 million years ago and coral reefs eventually formed limestone on the ocean floor. Successive layers built up and then about 200 million years ago, the mountains raised up, taking the limestone with them. When underground water ran through the limestone, it dissolved, creating huge caverns beneath the surface of the earth. According to Rex Gilroy, the Dharuk Aborigines knew of a cave so large they called it an underground world. It was entered by a great slit in the side of a cliff and plunged deep into the earth. Today we have no idea of where it is. Other Aborigines were reputed to be able to walk through the mountains underground, but no one knows how or where these caves might be. In 1931 an explorer named Taylor came from England to explore caves in the Blue Mountains. An Aboriginal guide allegeldy led him to an immense cave called Binoomea in a gully deep in the Jenolan Range. He explored the cave for a week, returning each night. He followed passage after passage until eventually they led to a cavern of such huge proportions that it was hard for him to take it all in. This cavern was covered by a large lake and the walls glowed with phosphorescence. This cave is only one of the hundreds of caves that have been discovered and described by explorers. Most of them have never been found after their initial exploration.









Romanies, often incorrectly referred to as “Gypsies,” descend from a migration out of India in the early years of the 11th century. This exodus was prompted by a succession of raids led by Mohammed of Ghazni between 1000 AD and 1027 AD in his attempt to spread Islam into Northern India. The Hindu response was to assemble military forces known as Rajputs, conscripted from various language groups, though ones close enough to share the same genetic descent. The linguistic nature of the Romani language strongly suggests that it began as a composite military lingua franca (under the same circumstances that gave rise to the Urdu language), and for which the name Rajputic has been proposed. This only later crystallized into an ethnic mother-tongue when the troops and their camp-followers reached Anatolia and began to marry within the group and produce new generations of children. Because the first written account of the appearance of Romanies in the Byzantine Empire dates from 1054 AD, we can assume that it was reached within fifty years or less of leaving India. If so, it was over two centuries before their descendants finally entered Europe— again because of the spread of Islam, this time towards the West.





Because Romanies come ultimately from India, it is in Hinduism that the roots of their religion are to be found. However, awareness of this has become lost over the centuries and is only now being relearnt by Romanies today. Likewise the daily cultural behavior in which Indian-based spiritualism (called Rromanipen) manifests itself so clearly is not recognized as such; asked what his religion is, a Romani is likely to say Orthodox or Roman Catholic, Mormon, Muslim or Bahá’í or any one of the nonindigenous faiths acquired, voluntarily or not, since arrival in the West. SPIRITUAL BELIEFS

The Roma do not have an official faith and n the past, they typically disdained organized religion. Today, they often adopt the predominant religion of the country where they are living, according to FRUA, and describe themselves as “many stars scattered in the sight of God.” Some Roma groups are Catholic, Muslim, Pentecostal, Protestant, Anglican or Baptist, according to Open Society Foundations. The Roma live by a complex set of rules that govern things such as cleanliness, purity, respect, honor and justice. These rules are referred to as what is “Rromano.” Rromano means to behave with dignity and respect as a Roma person, according to FRUA. “Rromanipé” is what the Romani refer to as their worldview. RELIGIOUS BELIEFS Roma usually confess an ‘official’ religion, based on the religion of their adopted country. Beyond this, their essential beliefs include: • Strict monotheism. • An accessible God with no intermediary. • No traditional image, symbol or portrayal of any Divinity. • The existence of a spiritual world, consisting of pure and impure spirits representing good and evil. • Blasphemy is considered a great sin, as is cursing an elder (but cursing Gadjé is an acceptable way of ensuring distance with the ‘impure’). • Current phenomenon of conversion to Evangelical movements, leading to abandonment of ancestral fire-worship elements and divination practices.

Complementary superstitious elements: Having a lighted fire in the house permanently, day and night, winter and summer (a tradition that is still kept by the most conservative families, while in general is evolving into a ‘symbolic’ fire like the TV set, always switched on though nobody is actually watching). Contrary to popular belief, Roma do not believe in divination themselves, but use practices such as fortune-telling, palmistry and

Tarot outwardly to earn money from Gadjé. Source: html

INFRASTRUCTURE FAMILY STRUCTURE The Roma place great value on extended families, according to FRUA. Families typically involve multiple generations living together, including unmarried young and adult children and a married son, his wife and their children. By the time an older son is ready to establish his own household, a younger son often will have married and brought his wife and children into the family. Romani typically marry young — often in their teens — and many marriages are arranged. Weddings are typically very elaborate, involving very large and colorful dress for the bride and her many attendants. Though during the courtship phase, girls are encouraged to dress provocatively, sex is something that is not had until after marriage, according to The Learning Channel. Some groups have declared that no girl under 16 and no boy under 17 will be married, according to the BBC HIERARCHY Traditionally, anywhere from 10 to several hundred extended families form bands, or kumpanias, which travel together in caravans. Each band is lead by a voivode, whom the families elect for lifetime. This person is their chieftain. A senior woman in the band, called a phuri dai, looks after the welfare of the group’s women and children. Smaller alliances, called vitsas, are formed within the bands and are made up of families who are brought together through common ancestry. LIVING CONDITIONS The living conditions of Roma vary enormously, from the wealthier, technologically advanced countries like the United States and Canada to impoverished, third-world countries. In any society,

Roma usually live at a somewhat lower standard than the non-Roma. Roma adapt well to societies where there is a surplus of consumer goods that they can buy and sell, or where there is scrap they can collect to recycle. While many Roma are nomadic, especially in Europe, others are sedentary. They might settle in trailer camps, living in horse-drawn wagons or travel trailers, or in modern apartments. Others live in houses in Eastern European villages. Conditions are especially bad in Slovakia, where many Roma live in dilapidated shacks. Others live in shantytowns, or bidonvilles, in France and Spain, which are often bulldozed into oblivion by the town councils while the occupants are at a local feast. Many Roma in Western Europe are squatters, occupying condemned buildings while trying to find more suitable accommodations. In the United States, many Roma own their own homes or rent decent living accommodations. In Central and South America, many are still nomadic and live in tents. In Portugal, Roma travel with horses and wagons and sleep in tents. Nomadic Roma are often healthier than those who lead sedentary lives. The Roma diet was evolved for a nomadic and active people, and when they settle down and still eat the same types of foods, they often become overweight and suffer from health problems. Women generally live longer than men, who often die in middle age from heart attacks. Roma life can be stressful because of constant problems arising from their lifestyle, which is often misunderstood by the law-enforcement agencies who move them on when they are traveling or, when they are sedentary, harass them over by-laws, work permits, and licenses. In Eastern Europe, there is a high mortality rate among Roma children and infants. Perhaps 80 percent of the orphans in Romania are Roma children suffering from diseases like AIDS (transmitted by infected medical syringes). Except in rural areas of the less developed countries, most Roma use cars, trucks, and travel trailers. In countries like the United States, they fly to visit relatives or to attend weddings. In Europe, they travel by train, bus, or in their own cars and trailers. The Roma in the United States and other developed nations see the car as a status symbol

and try to own an impressive vehicle. They often buy expensive jewelry, watches, home furnishings, and appliances as well as luxurious carpets. In Europe, Roma caravans are often full of expensive china dishes. Read more: Norway-to-Russia/Roma.html#ixzz48Sp1GeBf Source:

FASHION Typically, Gypsies love opulence. In day-to-day life, Roma women wear gold jewelry and headdresses decorated with coins as a display of prosperity and generosity towards others, according to the FRUA. Weddings are huge affairs with large, custom-made wedding dresses. Often, the girls in a group will compete to see who can have the largest, most extravagant wedding dress. Some of this has been documented in the American show My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. There is no traditional male Roma costume. Women among the Roma wear a traditional costume composed of a full, ankle-length skirt tied on the left side at the waist, a loose, low-cut blouse, a bolero vest, and an apron. In the United States, the bandana of the married woman is often replaced by a thin strip of ribbon. In Europe, the full traditional female costume is still in common use among the Vlach Roma and other more traditional groups. Roma men like to dress well and often adopt a particular style. Roma men wear expensive suits but seldom wear ties, except for Western-style bolos (string ties). In Europe, men in some groups wear a diklo, a type of neckerchief, often with a fancy ring which they use to tighten it. Most Roma men like fancy belt buckles and lots of jewelry. Women also wear jewelry. For everyday wear, Roma dress casually. Men wear business suits without ties. Hats are popular among older Roma men, who wear them indoors as well as outdoors. Teenagers and younger men adopt the

local styles, such as baseball caps, sneakers, and windbreakers. Girls may wear jeans, but if guests arrive, they change into a dress. Read more: Norway-to-Russia/Roma.html#ixzz48SuySCrG Source:

ART Romani arts have been the traditional way of survival for Roma over the centuries, with music, dance and artisan craftsmanship being the main source of income for most Roma groups. However, the practising of their arts and artisanship is divided into three main areas: (i) Domestic – produced at home for the family or community; (ii) Professional – presented for a paying audience; and (iii) Religious – performed for God or for an ideal. Gypsy music and dance are the best known and most widely accepted of the Romani arts, having a long-established reputation throughout Europe. Romani music encompassed three geographical regions/traditions: (i) Middle Eastern and Balkan; (ii) Northern (Hungarian, Russian, Polish, Manouche jazz, Django Reinhardt); and (iii) Flamenco (classical and ‘pop’). All styles are practised in the three forms of domestic, professional and religious. PEG KNIFE The decline in the use of horse-drawn vehicles began in the inter-war period 1920-1938, with many wagon builders and wheelwrights switching their business to coachbuilding. This led to an increasing number of Gypsy families meeting their own wagon and decoration needs, at varying levels of competence. The Gypsy home-made ‘peg-knife’ wagons provided the base for the unique art form of the painted wagon, with some converting an existing 4-wheel dray 64 cart bed by adding a top. Vardo expert Peter Ingram[G] points out that whatever was to hand was used for building and decorating. Peg knives weren’t just for carving laundry pegs; they were also used for carving

wagon details. Wagon colours were based on what was readily available. With the Gypsy vans you only had green or maroon or yellow, because they were easy colours to mix up in the paint mill. Yellow was used for the underworks, green or maroon for the body. It was also common practice to buy (or build), and decorate, a wagon in stages. Many wagons would come out painted plain and the family would take it back the following year. That’s when it would be flashed out. It was a matter of living on your wits. Gypsy people did craftwork, carved clothes pegs for selling, and did farm work. All the fruit and hop picking was done by Gypsy people and local villagers, before it all got mechanized. It’s important to realise that Gypsies never styled themselves on cottagers, they styled themselves on the gentry. The best families considered themselves the gentry of the road, dealing with gentry of the houses. So they had fine bone china, silver knives and forks, beautiful white lace tablecloths. The interior of a wagon was gentrified with velvet drapes, white lace-edged cloths, etc. They never had patchwork quilts as it is portrayed – they used sheets with lace edges, best quality Welsh blankets, and a silk eiderdown on the bed. They didn’t have space on wagon walls for art pieces, so the practical items they used in their daily lives became miniature works of art. The past decade has seen a sudden emergence of contemporary Roma visual art. For centuries, visual art about the lives of Gypsies/Roma/Travellers has existed in which they have been the passive subjects. Much writing, painting and music relating to Roma in Europe had been produced by 1900 by non-Gypsy artists. These tended to represent Roma art as folk art. By the twentieth century individual Roma writers and artists began to emerge but it is in the last decade that Roma visual art has really made a public appearance. source: uploads/2012/12/Beyond-the-Stereotypes.pdf

ARCHITECTURE The diversity and multiplicity of the Roma identity when manifested in architecture also consistently repeats a disticht lexicon, no matter where in the country it is located. From the village of Buzescu in southeastern Romania to the urban palaces of Sibiu in Transylvania all such structures exhibit the same caricatured opulence and dissonant mixture of architectureal styles. Towers resembling Japanese pagodas mix with Classical Greek columns, Neoclassical and Viennese Baroque elements, colonial verandahs, marbled pediments, details from Alpine chalets, and glazed facades echoing post-Communist bank architecture. Unrestrained by cultural norms, the Roma assimilate a seeminly unlimited repertoire of identifiable references into a cacophonous but stiedied moumentality. In most instances construction is performed without permits or skilled oversight. The finishes fall apart easilyand decorative tin roof elements are often blown off instronger winds. The ornate columns that support multiplestories and large slabs of concrete often appear too fragile towithstand an earthquake. With no architect or other buildingprofessional involved, the design of a typical structure mayinvolve little more than the head of a household voicing hiswishes to local, usually Romanian workers, or tracing theoutline of rooms on the ground.Reaction in the media to this uninhibited and electric architectural language has been unanimously negatice. The structures have even been unanimously negative. The structures have even been denounced as a sort of contamination of Ramanian culture. Such media derision has been fueled by the new affluence within the Roma community and its expression through informally built and highly visible signifiers. Most architecture professionals have tended to echo this view. ONe of the few who has not is the architect and architecture critic Mariana Celac. Together with the artist Iosif Kiraly and the architect Marius Marcu Lepadat, she has applied an anthropological lens to the phenomenon as it emerged in the southeast region of Romania in the early 1990’s and then spread to the rest of

Romania and across Eastern Earopean borders. Celac described her views in an article in a French architectural journal in 2001, and with Kiraly and Lepadat she subsequently organized an exhibition entitled “ Tinseltown” in 2003 in Bucharest that caused significant controversy and critical interest.”

TRADITIONS CLEANLINESS RITUALS AND TABOOS In matters of cleanliness Gypsies/Roma take into account spiritual purity as well as physical hygiene. Complex pollution taboos demonstrate a fundamental distinction between the inside of the body and the outside. The outer body symbolises the public self and acts as a protective covering for the inside which must be kept pure and inviolate. The inner body symbolises the secret ethnic self, a sustained individuality, and is reaffirmed by the solidarity of the Gypsy group. Gypsies/Roma distinguish between something being dirty and something ritually unclean. The word chikli means ‘dirty’ in a harmless way. But the word mochadi (or marimé) means ‘ritually polluted’. A person’s face and clothes can be black with grime but not mochadi, so long as the inner body is clean. The Gadjé are condemned as mochadi by definition since they are not Gypsy and do not distinguish between the inner and outer body. The outer body (or skin) with its discarded scales, accumulated dirt, by-products of hair and waste such as faeces are all potentially polluting if recycled through the inner body. By contrast, anything taken into the inner body via the mouth (and eating implements) must be ritually clean … the outer body must be kept separate from the inner. (Okely, 1983) There also is a spiritual rationale. Gypsies/Roma believe in the importance of spiritual energy, called dji, which is drained when too much time is spent in the jado, the non-Romani world. The only remedy is to reimmerse oneself in an all-Romani milieu, which is another reason that the Roma tend to keep to themselves. The Gypsy/Roma beliefs create and express symbolic boundaries between themselves and the majority society, leading to endless conflicts, confrontations and cultural

misunderstandings. The concept of marimé is the inverse of the Jewish concept of kosher – what is marimé for a Rom is not kosher for a Jew – and extensive measures are taken to avoid becoming spiritually defiled or polluted. If contamination is unavoidable, clear rules are followed to become purified. The rules that regulate marimé/mochadi are a fundamental value in Romany society that conditions their relationship with the external world. Gypsies/Roma classify everything into two categories: vuzho (pure) or marimé (impure – although the term used more commonly in Britain is mochadi, so this will be used here). This classification covers the human body, the spiritual realm, the house or camp, animals, things and Gadjé (non-Roma). source:

STORYTELLING As a people on the move literacy was unimportant, and the opportunities to learn to read and write were few. Instead the Gypsies/Roma maintained an oral tradition of poetry, song and storytelling which contained the core ideas of their culture. Storytelling was improvised, or utilised folk tales from the countries travelled through, with Gypsyrelated embellishments and humour added to personalise the stories. In some groups long ballads were composed that were partly sung and partly recited, telling the tale of the Roma exodus and the routes travelled. Many tales reflect the boundary between Roma and Gadjé.






NATIVE AMERICANS RELIGION Though Native Americans’ spirituality, ceremonies, and rituals were often referred to as “religion,” most did not consider it in the way Christians do. However, it was labeled as such by American writers, soldiers, and settlers, who called it such, perhaps because they didn’t know how to otherwise describe the rituals and ceremonies. The Native Americans, themselves, believed that their rituals and practices formed an integral and seamless part of their very being. Like other aboriginal peoples around the world, their beliefs were heavily influenced by their methods of acquiring food, – from hunting to agriculture. They also embraced ceremonies and rituals that provided power to conquer the difficulties of life, as wells as events and milestones, such as puberty, marriage, and death. Over the years, practices and ceremonies changed with tribes’ needs. From tribe to tribe, these rituals exhibited a great deal of diversity, largely due to the relative isolation of various cultures that were spread out across the the North American continent for thousands of years. However, most all “religions” were closely connected to the land and the supernatural, addressing an ever present invisible universal force. In 1920, Clark Wissler, in his book North American Indians Of The Plains, briefly described some of the religious concepts of the Plains tribes. (Excerpt is edited and not verbatim.) “To most of us the mention of religion brings to mind notions of God, a supreme over ruler, and decidedly personal being. Nothing just like this is found among the Indians. Yet, they seem to have formulated rather complex and abstract notions of a controlling power or series of powers pervading the universe. Thus, the Dakota use a term Wakan Tanka which seems to mean, the greatest sacred ones. The term has often been rendered as the “Great Mystery” but, that is not quite correct.

It is true that anything strange and mysterious is pronounced Wakan, or as having attributes analogous to Wakan Tanka; but this seems to mean supernatural. In fact, the Dakota do recognize a kind of hierarchy in which the Sun stands first, or as one of the Wakan Tanka. Of almost equal rank is the Sky, the Earth, and the Rock. Next in order, is another group of four -- the Moon (female), Winged-One, Wind, and the “Mediator” (female). Then come inferior beings, the buffalo, bear, the four winds and the whirlwind; then come four classes or groups of beings and so on in almost bewildering complexity. So far as we know, no other Plains tribe has worked out quite so complex a conception. The Omaha Wakonda is in a way like the Dakota Wakan Tanka. The Pawnee recognized a dominating power spoken of as Tirawa, or, “ father,” under whom were the heavenly bodies, the winds, the thunder, lightning, and rain; but, they also recognized a sacred quality, or presence, in the phenomena of the world, spoken of as Kawaharu, a term whose meaning closely parallels the Dakota Wakan. The Blackfoot resolved the phenomena of the universe into “powers,” the greatest and most universal of which is Natosiwa, or sun power. The sun was in a way a personal god having the moon for his wife and the morning-star for his son. Unfortunately, we lack data for most tribes, this being a point peculiarly difficult to investigate. One thing, however, is suggested. There is tendency here to conceive of some all-pervading force or element in the universe that emanates from an indefinite source to which a special name is given, which in turn, becomes an attribute applicable to each and every manifestation of this conceivably divine element. Probably nowhere, not even among the Dakota, is there a clear cut formulation of a definite god-like being with definite powers and functions. A SUPERNATURAL HELPER It is much easier, however, to gather reliable data on religious activities or the functioning of these beliefs in actual life. In the Plains, as well as in some other parts of the continent, the ideal is for all males to establish some kind of direct relation with

a divine element or power. The idea is that if one follows the proper formula, the power will appear in some human or animal form and will form a compact with the young man for his good fortune during life. Sacred White Buffalo,Generally, the youth will put himself in the hands of a priest, or shaman, who instructs him and requires him to fast and pray alone in some secluded spot until a vision or dream is obtained. In the Plains, such an experience results in the conferring of one or more songs, the laying on of certain curious formal taboos, and of the designation of some object, such as a feather, skin, or shell, to be carried and used as a charm or medicine bundle. This practice has been reported for the Sarsi, Plains-Cree, Blackfoot, Gros Ventre, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan, Dakota Sioux, Assiniboine, Omaha, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Pawnee. It is probably universal except perhaps among the Ute, Shoshone, and Nez Perce. We know also that it is frequent among the Woodland Cree, Menomini, and Ojibway. Aside from hunger and thirst, there was no self torture except among the Dakota and possibly a few others of Siouan stock. With these, it was the rule for all desiring to become shamans, or those in close rapport with the divine element, to thrust skewers through the skin and tie themselves up as in the Sun Dance. When a Blackfoot, a Dakota, or an Omaha went out to fast and pray for a revelation, he called upon all the recognized mythical creatures, the heavenly bodies, and all in the earth and in the waters, which are consistent with the tribes’ conceptions of power. If this divine element spoke through a hawk, for example, the young man would then look upon that bird as his Wakonda. He would then keep in a bundle the skin or feathers of a hawk that the divine presence might ever be at hand. This is why the warriors of the Plains carried such charms into battle and looked to them for aid. BELIEFS Everything in Native American culture is considered

to contain a spirit. Everything has ties to nature and is thought through and carefully produced. From native plants and animals to housing to the weather became a part of the culture in Indian life. Animals are revered as spirits and although they were hunted and killed, their skins and hides are used as clothing and drums, their meat is never wasted and their spirits live on in the mind of the tribes. Plants are cultivated and harvested, and used for various things such as dyes for blankets. The rain and sun are considered to be gods, giving a sign to the Indians as the seasons change. Source:

INFRASTRUCTURE THE ECO-CULTURAL INFRASTRUCTURE The CTUIR culture, which has co-ecolced with nature through thousands of ecological education, has procided its people with their unique and calid version of holistic environmental management. Because the culture and religion are synonymous with and inseparable from the environment, the relationshipp can be termed a single eco-cultural system or single ethno-habitat. An etno-habitat can be defined as the set of cultural, religious, nutritional, educational,psychological, and other services provided by intact, functioning ecosystems and landscapes. An ethno-habitat refers to the cultural survival of a people within its traditional homeland. A healthy ethno-habitat is one that supports its natural plant and animal communities and sustains the biophysical and spiritual health of its native peoples through time. Ethno-habitats are also eco-cultural landscapes. They are places defined and understood by groups of people within the context of their culture. They are landscapes with cultural landscapes. They are places defined and understood by groups of people within the context

of their culture. They are landscapes with culturally familiar features defined by cultural knowledge and experience. These lands serve to help sustain modern Indian peoples’ way of life, cultural integrity, social cohesion, and socio-economic well being. These lands encompass traditional Indian homelands, places habitats, recources, ancestral remains, cultural symbols, and cultural heritage. The presence of ; and access for traditional use’ to healthy habitats is fundamental to useable and harvestable levels of resources significant to Indian people as well as to healthy ecosystems. A cultural landscape is defined as “a geographic area, including but not limited to cultural and natural resources and the wildlife or domesstic animals therein, associated with a historic event, activity, or person, or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values.” There are four general types of cultural landscapes: historic sites, historic designated landscapes, historic vernacular landscapes, and ethnographic landscapes. None of these are mutally exclusive. Infrastructure impacts on (or enhancement of) these landscapes should be a part of infrastructure planning, and should not left solely to the Environmental Impect Assessment. Source: Articles%20Reports%20Papers/Environmental%20 Protection/SD-Cornell-2.PDF

FASHION 20TH CENTURY In the middle of the 20th century, Native artists began to reach beyond their own communities, and entered the world of mainstream fashion. The Cherokee designer Lloyd “Kiva” New was the first to create a successful high-fashion brand. In the 1950s, he sold his customized clothing and accessories to a specialized clientele across the nation, from boutiques on Fifth Avenue to Beverly Hills, and distributed his line through Neiman Marcus. Since New’s days as a pioneering Native designer, many others have brought his entrepreneurial, innovative spirit into fashion design and Native aesthetics. They source their fabrics globally and bring their

designs to wide markets, achieve recognition far beyond their home communities and create fashion that blends cultural iconography and knowledge with mainstream design. source: default/files/listing/brochure/Native%20 Fashion%20Now.pdf

ART Just like music plays an important role in Native American culture, art has a very special place as well. The use of art has been used as a form of expression in the Native American way of life for hundreds, even thousands of years. Most art was created as a symbol, such as a bear, walrus, eagle, or people. The materials to make this artwork varied from rocks, feathers, cloth, clay, and fabric. BASKET WEAVING Basket weaving was a very popular form of artwork that served a dual purpose. Reeds and cornhusks were woven together to create intricate baskets. The material would be dyed to make interesting tribal patterns, resulting in a beautiful piece of art that was also useful, as the baskets were used to transport fruits and vegetables. Blanket weaving was also a very common Native American art practice. Women would spend many hours weaving threads together to create unbelievable colorful blankets in a rainbow of patterns and designs. The Navajo tribe is very well known for their hand woven blankets. ANIMALS In the colder regions, Native Americans enjoyed creating art as homage to their animal friends. Walruses were commonly carved out of whales’ teeth, and eagles and bears were made of rock. Pendants and statues were often created to symbolize the respect the tribes had for the animals. Instruments and weapons were also considered a form of art for Native Americans, as everything they made was done with care and time. Totem poles were probably the most elaborate form of Native American art. These huge, tall wooden sculptures represented generations of

family members. Each “face” in the totem pole was a different representation, ranging from animals’ faces to people faces, and wings would often be protruding from the totem pole as well. This has long been a symbol of Native American heritage, and a truly important part of their culture of art. STYLES Native American art history has developed over thousands of years and consists of several distinctive styles from the distinguishing cultures of diverse Indian tribes. From Navajo to Hopi to Plains Indians each tribe has a unique history, which consists of many types of Native American Indian arts including beadwork, jewelry, weaving, basketry, pottery, carvings, kachinas, masks, totem poles, drums, flutes, pipes, dolls and more. SPIRITUAL Native American arts have an extremely deep connection with spirituality and Mother Nature. It’s a profoundly expressive art that has been a way of life for many Native Americans. Native American art history can be traced back to cave painting, stonework and earthenware thousands of years ago. Over the years the types of materials used by Native Americans has evolved from rocks and feathers to cloth, clay, turquoise, silver, glass and fabric; each piece of art reveals intricacies of the diverse indigenous people. SYMBOLS Native American art history is strongly associated with symbols that were often linked with nature. Important symbols in most Native American art history include the sun, moon, bears, eagles or people. Pendants and statues were often created to symbolize and honor Mother Nature. Everything Native Americans create is done with time and care so that even ordinary utensils are often considered pieces of art. TOTEM POLES Tall wooden sculptures known as totem poles are one of the most elaborate forms of Native American art. Each pole represents generations of family members or spiritual story. A lot of totem

poles would include characteristics of animals, considered spirit animals, standing as a symbol of Native American heritage. JEWELERY One of the more popular forms of Native American art is jewelry. Rich in symbolism and used to adorn, protect and in some cases honor, Native American jewelry is one of the most sought after forms of Native American art. Known for their skills in carving intricate designs and patterns, often Native American inspiration came from the natural world. Most commonly used materials for Native American jewelry is silver, turquoise, onyx, copper, opal and brown stone. SOUTHWEST INDIAN ART Southwest Indian artists are best known for kachina dolls of the Hopi; sandpaintings of the Navajo; pottery, particularly by Pueblo Indian artists; woven blankets and rugs predominantly by the Navajos; and many different styles of fine basketry and jewelry particularly in silver and turquoise jewelry. ART HISTORY Native American art history has evolved from cave paintings to intricate weavings, designs, shapes and materials. Kachinas, tribal jewelry, pottery, basketry and even tattoos are mainstream forms of artwork that continue to develop. Artists from Georgia O’Keeffe to Logan Maxwell Hagege have fallen in love and been influenced by the west and Native American art. Native American artist Shonto Begay intertwines modern methods with his Navajo background to create a narrative moment in time. Beginning with simple drawings on in a cave or a sharpening of a weapon, Native American art has always been deeply connected to the spiritual and natural. Although Native American art has evolved over many years, the techniques remain a time-honored tradition. After colonization, Native American jewelry-making traditions remained strong, incorporating, rather than being replaced by, new materials and techniques such as glass beads and more advanced metalworking techniques. Native American jewelry making can

be broken into two categories: metalwork and beadwork. Native American arts metalwork was fairly rudimentary before colonization. The metal was hammered or etched using copper, shaping pieces into pendants, earrings, necklaces or beads. In the 1800’s silversmithing was introduced into the Native American jewelry and the Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo Indian artists quickly adopted distinctive patterns and styles. The squash blossom necklace, Hopi silver overlay bracelets and Navajo turquoise inlay rings were some of the unique designs created with combination of the new techniques with traditional designs. Another popular form of Native American art is pottery, which extends back thousands of years. Pottery was never created purely for utilitarian purposes but like most Native American objects was a product of Mother Earth with a spiritual connection. Native American pottery developed into one of the most well-known Native American arts. Early cultures of the Southwest Native American tribes such as the Hohokam and Anasazi all made pottery using techniques that are still common in modern-day pottery. Native American weaving is rich in history and popularity. According to legend, Spider Woman was first to weave her web of the universe and taught Din’eh (Navajo) to create beauty in their own life teaching balance within the mind, body, and soul. After weaving the universe, Spider Woman taught the gift of weaving to the Navajo. To this day, Navajo rugs are some of the most coveted weavings in the world. Native American tribes continue to develop Native American Arts in distinct aesthetics rooted in spiritual artistic visions and cultural traditions. Modern-day Native American artists are able to maintain traditional Native American arts methods while adding their personal touch to each contemporary piece. Source:

ARCHITECTURE WIGWAMS Wigwams (or wetus) are Native American houses used by Algonquian Indians in the woodland regions. Wigwam is the word for “house” in the Abenaki tribe, and wetu is the word for “house” in the Wampanoag tribe. Sometimes they are also known as birchbark houses. Wigwams are small houses, usually 8-10 feet tall. Wigwams are made of wooden frames which are covered with woven mats and sheets of birchbark. The frame can be shaped like a dome, like a cone, or like a rectangle with an arched roof. Once the birchbark is in place, ropes or strips of wood are wrapped around the wigwam to hold the bark in place. Here are some pictures of a woman building a wigwam. Wigwams are good houses for people who stay in the same place for months at a time. Most Algonquian Indians lived together in settled villages during the farming season, but during the winter, each family group would move to their own hunting camp. Wigwams are not portable, but they are small and easy to build. Woodland Indian families could build new wigwams every year when they set up their winter camps. LONGHOUSES Longhouses are Native American homes used by the Iroquois tribes and some of their Algonquian neighbors. They are built similarly to wigwams, with pole frames and elm bark covering. The main difference is that longhouses are much, much larger than wigwams. Longhouses could be 200 feet long, 20 feet wide, and 20 feet high. Inside the longhouse, raised platforms created a second story, which was used for sleeping space. Mats and wood screens divided the longhouse into separate rooms. Each longhouse housed an entire clan-- as many as 60 people! Longhouses are good homes for people who

intend to stay in the same place for a long time. A longhouse is large and takes a lot of time to build and decorate. The Iroquois were farming people who lived in permanent villages. Iroquois men sometimes built wigwams for themselves when they were going on hunting trips, but women might live in the same longhouse their whole life. TEPEES Tepees (also spelled Teepees or Tipis) are tent-like American Indian houses used by Plains tribes. A tepee is made of a cone-shaped wooden frame with a covering of buffalo hide. Like modern tents, tepees are carefully designed to set up and break down quickly. As a tribe moved from place to place, each family would bring their tipi poles and hide tent along with them. Originally, tepees were about 12 feet high, but once the Plains Indian tribes acquired horses, they began building them twice as high. Tepees are good houses for people who are always on the move. Plains Indians migrated frequently to follow the movements of the buffalo herds. An entire Plains Indian village could have their tepees packed up and ready to move within an hour. There were fewer trees on the Great Plains than in the Woodlands, so it was important for Plains tribes to carry their long poles with them whenever they traveled instead of trying to find new ones each time they moved. GRASS HOUSES Grass houses are American Indian homes used in the Southern Plains by tribes such as the Caddos. They resemble large wigwams but are made with different materials. Grass houses are made with a wooden frame bent into a beehive shape and thatched with long prairie grass. These were large buildings, sometimes more than 40 feet tall. Grass houses are good homes for people in a warm climate. In the northern plains, winters are too cold to make homes out of prairie grass. But in the southern plains of Texas, houses like these were comfortable for the people who used them. WATTLE AND DAUB HOUSES (also known as asi, the Cherokee word for them)

are Native American houses used by southeastern tribes. Wattle and daub houses are made by weaving rivercane, wood, and vines into a frame, then coating the frame with plaster. The roof was either thatched with grass or shingled with bark. Wattle and daub houses are permanent structures that take a lot of effort to build. Like longhouses, they are good homes for agricultural people who intended to stay in one place, like the Cherokees and Creeks. Making wattle and daub houses requires a fairly warm climate to dry the plaster. CHICKEES (also known as chickee huts, stilt houses or platform dwellings) are Native American homes used primarily in Florida by tribes like the Seminole Indians. Chickee houses consisted of thick posts supporting a thatched roof and a flat wooden platform raised several feet off the ground. They did not have any walls. During rainstorms, Florida Indians would lash tarps made of hide or cloth to the chickee frame to keep themselves dry, but most of the time, the sides of the structure were left open. Chickees are good homes for people living in a hot, swampy climate. The long posts keep the house from sinking into marshy earth, and raising the floor of the hut off the ground keeps swamp animals like snakes out of the house. Walls or permanent house coverings are not necessary in a tropical climate where it never gets cold. ADOBE HOUSES (also known as pueblos) are Native American house complexes used by the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. Adobe pueblos are modular, multi-story houses made of adobe (clay and straw baked into hard bricks) or of large stones cemented together with adobe. Each adobe unit is home to one family, like a modern apartment. The whole structure, which can contain dozens of units, is often home to an entire extended clan. Adobe houses are good homes to build in a warm, dry climate where adobe can be easily mixed and dried. These are homes for farming people who have no need to move their village to a new location. In fact, some Pueblo people have been

living in the same adobe house complex, such as Sky City, for dozens of generations. EARTHEN HOUSE is a general term referring to several types of Native American homes including Navajo hogans, Sioux earth lodges, subarctic sod houses, and Native American pit houses of the West Coast and Plateau. Earthen houses made by different tribes had different designs, but all were semi-subterranean dwellings -- basement-like living spaces dug from the earth, with a domed mound built over the top (usually a wooden frame covered with earth or reeds.) Earthern houses are good for people who want permanent homes and live in an area that is not forested. (It’s difficult work to excavate underground homes in areas with many tree roots!) Living partially underground has several benefits, especially in harsh climates-- the earth offers natural protection from wind and strong weather. PLANKHOUSES are Native American homes used by tribes of the Northwest Coast (from northern California all the way up to Alaska.) Plank houses are made of long, flat planks of cedar wood lashed to a wooden frame. Native American plank houses look rather similar to old European houses, but the Indians didn’t learn to build them from Europeans-- this style of house was used on the Northwest Coast long before Europeans arrived. Plank houses are good houses for people in cold climates with lots of tall trees. However, only people who don’t need to migrate spend the time and effort to build these large permanent homes. Most Native Americans who live in the far northern forests must migrate regularly to follow caribou herds and other game, so plank houses aren’t a good choice for them. Only coastal tribes, who make their living by fishing, made houses like these. IGLOOS (or Iglu) are snow houses used by the Inuit (Eskimos) of northern Canada. Not all Inuit people used igloos -- some built sod houses instead, using whale bones instead of wooden poles for a frame.

Like a sod house, the igloo is dome-shaped and slightly excavated, but it is built from the snow, with large blocks of ice set in a spiral pattern and packed with snow to form the dome. Igloos are good houses for the polar region, where the earth is frozen, the snow cover is deep, and there are few trees. Snow is a good insulator, and dense blocks of ice offer good protection against the arctic winds. BRUSH SHELTERS (including wickiups, lean-tos, gowa, etc.) are temporary Native American dwellings used by many tribes. Brush shelters are typically very small, like a camping tent. People cannot usually stand up straight inside brush lodges -- they are only used for sleeping in. A brush shelter is made of a simple wooden frame covered with brush (branches, leaves, and grass.) The frame can be cone-shaped, with one side left open as a door, or tent-shaped, with both ends left open. Most Native Americans only made a brush shelter when they were out camping in the wilderness. But some migratory tribes who lived in warm dry climates, such as the Apache tribes, built brush shelters as homes on a regular basis. They can be assembled quickly from materials that are easy to find in the environment, so people who build villages of brush shelters can move around freely without having to drag teepee pole DO NATIVE AMERICANS STILL LIVE IN HOUSES LIKE THESE TODAY? Most Native Americans do not live in old-fashioned Indian houses like the ones on this page, any more than other Americans live in log cabins. The only Native American housing style on this page that is still in regular use as a home is Indian adobe houses. Some Pueblo families are still living in the same adobe house complexes their ancestors used to live in. There are also a few elders on the Navajo reservation who still prefer to live in hogans. But otherwise, traditional Native American houses like these are usually only built for ritual or ceremonial purposes, such as a sweat lodge or tribal meeting hall. Most American Indians today live in modern houses and apartments, just like North Americans

from other ethnic groups. Source: htm

TRADITIONS / RITUALS GREEN CORN FESTIVALS Also called the Green Corn Ceremonies, this both a celebration and religious ceremony, primarily practiced by the peoples of the Eastern Woodlands and the Southeastern tribes including the Creek, Cherokee, Seminole, Yuchi, Iroquois, and others. The ceremony typically coincides in the late summer and is tied to the ripening of the corn crops. Marked with dancing, feasting, fasting and religious observations, the ceremony usually lasts for three days. Activities varied from tribe to tribe, but the common thread is that the corn was not to be eaten until the Great Spirit has been given his proper thanks. During the event, tribal members give thanks for the corn, rain, sun, and a good harvest. Some tribes even believe that they were made from corn by the Great Spirits. The Green Corn Festival is also a religious renewal, with various religious ceremonies. During this time, some tribes hold council meetings where many of the previous year’s minor problems or crimes are forgiven. Others also signify the event as the time of year when youth come of age and babies are given their names. Severaltribes incorporate ball games and tournaments in the event. Cleansing and purifying activities often occur, including cleaning out homes, burning waste, and drinking emetics to purify the body. At the end of each day of the festival, feasts are held to celebrate the good harvest. Green Corn festivals are still practiced today by many different native peoples of the Southeastern Woodland Culture. HEALING RITUALS Symbolic healing rituals and ceremonies were often held to bring participants into harmony with themselves, their tribe, and their environment. Ceremonies were used to help groups of people return to harmony; but, large ceremonies were generally not used for individual healing. Varying

widely from tribe to tribe, some tribes, such as the Sioux and Navajo used a medicine wheel, a sacred hoop, and would sing and dance in ceremonies that might last for days. Historic Indian traditions also used many plants and herbs as remedies or in spiritual celebrations, creating a connection with spirits and the after life. Some of these plants and herbs used in spiritual rituals included Sage, Bear Berry, Red Cedar, Sweet Grass, Tobacco, and many others. The healing process in Native American Medicine is much different than how most of us see it today. Native American healing includes beliefs and practices that combine religion, spirituality, herbal medicine, and rituals, that are used for both medical and emotional conditions. From the Native American perspective, medicine is more about healing the person than curing a disease. Traditional healers worked to make the individual “whole,” believing that most illnesses stem from spiritual problems. In addition to herbal remedies, purifying and cleansing the body is also important and many tribes used sweat lodges for this purpose. In these darkened and heated enclosures, a sick individual might be given an herbal remedy, smoke or rub themselves with sacred plants, and a healer might use healing practices to drive away angry spirits and invoke the healing powers of others. Sometimes healing rituals might involve whole communities, where participants would sing, dance, paint their bodies, sometimes use mind-altering substances to persuade the spirits to heal the sick person. PEYOTE WORSHIP Some southwest tribes have historically practiced Peyote ceremonies which were connected with eating or drinking of tea made of peyote buttons, the dried fruit of a small cactus, officially called Anhalonium or Laphophora. Native to the lower Rio Grande River and Mexico, the name “mescal” was wrongly applied to this fruit by many white observers. The ceremonies were held for specific reasons including healing, baptism, funerals, and other special occasions. Though many have the impression that peyote was smoked, this was

not the case, as the peyote button will not burn. Instead, the buttons, either fresh or dried, were eaten or ground into a powder and drank in a tea. Rites for these ceremonies would generally begin in the evening and continue until the following dawn and were restricted by some tribes only to men. Like other Indian ceremonies, a fire and incense were also used to to cleanse the mind and body. The ceremony also utilized bird feathers, which represented bird power, preferably those from predator birds, which were strong and thought to protect the worshipper. The ceremonies were guided by healers, also known as road men, as they were thought to guide a person’s journey through life. Most often small drums and rattles were also utilized. The experience is almost identical to taking lysergic acid dyethylamide, better known as LSD. Called the “sacred medicine,” peyote ceremonies are still practiced today by various tribes who believe that it counters the craving for alcohol, heals and teaches righteousness, and is useful in combating spiritual, physical, and other social ills. Concerned about the drug’s psychoactive effects, between the 1880’s and 1930’s, U.S. authorities attempted to ban Native American religious rituals involving peyote, including the Ghost Dance. Today, the Native American Church is one among several religious organizations to use peyote as part of its religious practice. POW-WOWS A relatively modern word, the term derives from the Narragansett word “powwaw,” which means “spiritual leader.” Before the term “pow-wow” became popular, other words were used to describe these gatherings, such as celebration, doing, fair, feast, festival, and more. The closest English translation is “meeting.” Today, it exemplifies all of these events and a modern pow-wow can be any kind of event that both Native American and non-Native American people meet to dance, sing, socialize, and honor American Indian culture. These events might be specific to a certain tribe or intertribal. Planning for a pow-wow generally begins months in advance of the event by a group of people

usually referred to as a pow-wow committee and may be sponsored by a tribal organization, tribe, or any other organization that wishes to promote Native American culture. These events almost always feature dance events, some of which are competitive and can last from hours to several days. Native American PowWowThe Gathering of Nations is one of the largest Pow-wows in the United States. It is held annually the fourth weekend in April, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over 500 tribes from around the United States and Canada participate. This event is competitive with 32 dance categories, as well as other competitions for singers and drumming, and a pageant for Miss Indian World. The event also features a Traders Market where Native Americans display their arts and crafts. VISION QUESTS Numerous Native American tribes practiced the rite of Vision Quests, which was often taken by older children before puberty to “find themselves” and their life’s direction. How the rite was taken, its length and intensity, and at what age varied greatly from tribe to tribe. In most cases the vision quest was a “supernatural” experience in which the individual seeks to interact with a guardian spirit, usually an animal, to obtain advice or protection. Much preparation was often taken before the vision quest was undertaken in order to determine the sincerity and commitment of the person. Sometimes the quest required the individual to go alone into the wilderness for several days, in order to become attuned to the spirit world. Other tribes required the individual to take a long walk, or were confined to a small room. Often the individual was required to fast prior to the quest, and was not allowed to sleep. During this period of sensory deprivation, the individual was to search for a a guardian spirit’s presence or a sign that would be given to them. Once the presence or sign was “seen,” and the individual had realized his/her direction in life, they would return to the tribe to pursue their life’s journey. Source: Rituals

STORYTELLING TOTEMS A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each individual is connected with nine different animals that will accompany each person through life, acting as guides. Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/ or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey. Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit. With this one animal a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction. This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they “communicate” with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that you actually pet or spend time with this animal, more that you are open to learning its lessons. For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.

SYMBOLS Alligator > Maternal, revenge oriented, quickness, aggression, stealth, efficiency, basic survival instincts. Ant > Group minded, determination, patient, active, purposeful, unity, self sacrifice and industrious. Anteater> Lethargy, curiosity, nosiness, ability to smell out trouble, rooting around for solutions, finding the lost. Antelope > Active, agile, jumpiness, keen eyesight, survival, willing to sacrifice, mental

clarity, intuitive, protective. Armadillo > Safety, grounded, sensitivity to attack, strong boundaries, trusting, reclusive, neutral, peaceful. Badger > Courage, aggressive, healer, problems relating to others, energy conduit, determined, focused, confident. Bat > Rebirth, longevity, secrecy, initiation, good listener, long life, illusion, journeying, inner depth. Bear > Industrious, instinctive, healing, power, sovereignty, guardian of the world, watcher, courage, will power, self-preservation, introspection, and great strength. Beaver > Determined, strong-willed, builder, overseer, dreamer, protector, builder, motion, subconscious. Bee > Organized, industrial, productive, wise, community, celebration, fertility, sweetness, defensiveness, obsessive nature, and enjoys life. Boar/Pig > A very powerful totem - prosperity, spiritual strength, organized, balanced complacency and activity, fearless. Buffalo > Sacredness, life, great strength, abundance, gratitude, consistency, blessings, stability. Bull > Insight into the past, fertility, raw expression, rushing into things, confidence, strength, provision. Butterfly > Metamorphosis, transformation, balance, grace, ability to accept change, lightness, soul, vulnerability. Camel > Survival, endurance, obedience, nobility, positive, accomplishment, adaptive, temperance, humility. Caribou > Traveler, mobility, preference to be nomadic, adaptability to adversity, sensitivity, guidance, surety. Cat > Guardianship, detachment, sensuality, mystery, magic, independence, astute, watchful. Cheetah > Swiftness, insight, focus, brotherhood, self-esteem, acceleration, elusiveness. Cougar > Leadership, loyalty, courage, taking responsibility, foresight, sensing danger,

• •

• • • •

awareness. Cow > Love of home, community, contentment, joy, easy going, patience, grounded, fertility. Coyote > Trickster, intelligence, stealth, wisdom and folly, guile, innocence, skill. Cobra > Swift and decisive, power of life and death, transformation, energy, connected to eternity. Crab > Good luck, moves sideways, savvy, unorthodox, relaxed, cycles. Crane > Solitude, justice, longevity, independent, intelligent, vigilant, focus. Crocodile > Ensuring your emotions are displayed accurately/appropriately. Crow > Magical, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, inelegancy, energy, higher perspective. Deer > Compassion, peace, intellectual, gentle, caring, kind, subtlety, gracefulness, femininity, gentleness, innocence, and seller of adventure. Dog > Noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, guidance, obedience, sensory perception.

Research tribes  

research of the four still existing tribes. The Maori, Aboriginals, Roma's and Native Americans.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you