Karen Stevenson


A Polynesian cultural aesthetic has developed over the past 3000 years, changing as new materials and methods became available. As the Polynesians navigated the oceans, lashing and plaiting technologies became essential to their wellbeing. 1 As they spread to inhabit islands with clay, pottery developed into an art form that they used to disseminate cultural knowledge. With the arrival of the European, metal tools changed the way men carved, and imported cloth diminished the necessity of textile production. In each of these phases Pacific artists quickly learned to incorporate and manipulate introduced technologies into their arts in order to preserve the function of the artefact — it enabled the passing of cultural knowledge from one generation to another.



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