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'Hikoi returning from Waitangi, praying on the bridge, 1984'

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Ans Jacoba Westra, photographer, 1984
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Ans Westra, is one of New Zealand's most celebrated photographers. Her career has spanned nearly 50 years (1950s until the present day). This image highlights how the Treaty of Waitangi has become a focal point for Maori protest, especially in regard to the loss of Maori land and the overall position of Maori in New Zealand society, both of which are the result of differing interpretations of the Treaty. It illustrates a protest that has become a feature of the commemoration of Waitangi Day- this protest is typified by the protestor in the photograph who wears a T-shirt with the slogan 'The Treaty is a Fraud' emblazoned on it.

'At whare komiti', 1885

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Alfred Burton, photographer, 1885
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
The image shows, most probably, the wives and children of King Country chiefs, who were also photographed by Burton at the whare komiti at this time. Alfred Burton took the photograph on a pioneering trip he made up the Whanganui River and through the King Country in 1885 - he was one of the first Europeans to travel through this area after the wars of the 1860s.At the time Ngati Maniapoto iwi (tribal) leaders were relaxing their opposition to a European presence in the region. The trip resulted in Burton's now famous publication, 'Through the King Country with a camera: a photographer's diary'; at the time, Maori were still innocent of the camera but fascinated by it. The photograph provides an important insight into social and cultural details of Maori life during a time of significant change - few photographs of Maori had previously been taken outside the portrait studio. The Burton brothers (who had a photographic business based in Dunedin) amassed the largest and broadest collection of 19th-century images of New Zealand.

'The order of the bath', 1917

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Leslie Adkin, photographer, 1917
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
This image shows the photographer's wife, Maud Adkin, bathing their daughter, Nancy, in a washing tub on the veranda of their farm, Woodside, near Levin in the Horowhenua in 1917. It depicts an aspect of family life in the early 20th century and provides an example of a task performed by women - the role of women as primary caregivers was the norm at this time. It shows that the porch of the Adkin homestead was clad with weatherboards - many New Zealand houses of this era were clad with weatherboards due to the ready availability of wood as a building material.It shows a metal tub, which would have been used for washing clothes as well as children - at this time most bathing occurred in portable tubs and internal plumbing was rare. Leslie Adkin, was a self-taught scholar and photographer of life in early 20th-century New Zealand

Elderly Maori man, 1870s-80s

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Unidentified
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Taken in the period after the New Zealand Wars - it reflects a time of population decline and land loss for Maori. It is an example of a portrayal of Maori that became typical of European artists and photographers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - they normally showed Maori in resigned poses, often looking downwards and lost in thought, which in part reflected common European belief that the Maori race was in decline and would eventually die out, if not as a race then as a culture, due to its inability to withstand the impact of contact with a 'superior' European culture. It presents a romanticised European view of Maori - this style encouraged an emotive response by showing defeated, oppressed-looking Maori belonging to an earlier time, and was designed to appeal directly to an European audience. A market for portraits prospered. Such images provide valuable if flawed information about Maori - including clothing (cloaks), hairstyles and personal adornments, traditional artefacts, the use of feathers and the nature and place of ta moko in Maori society - such tattoos were often performed on men of mana, such as chiefs and warriors, and carried information on the wearer's whakapapa.

'Publicity photograph for Jantzen swimwear' c1920s

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Gordon Burt, photographer, c1920s
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
This 1920's photograph of a young woman modelling a swimsuit, by Gordon Burt (1893-1968) depicts swimwear fashion, a one-piece suit that would have stretched to mid-thigh - in the late 1930s and early 1940s the two-piece swimsuit was introduced, and swimsuits continued to reveal more and more bare skin as time went on. Early advertising campaigns aimed simply to encourage swimming but by the beginning of the 20th century advertising favoured a more glamorous style of studio pose, typical of film stars of the period. This photo shows the smiling model posing as if she were at the beach. Such swimsuits were imported to New Zealand to supply fashion stores - this swimsuit was manufactured by the American swimwear company Jantzen -, one of their early swimsuit designs was called the 'Jantzen' model and the company first used the name as a trademark in advertising in 1916. Gordon Burt, a Wellington photographer began his career taking portraits but later shifted to commercial photography as the increase in the availability of consumer goods made advertising a lucrative industry.

'Farm study', 1986

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Copyright Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Creator Peter Peryer, photographer, 1986
Source Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Black-and-white photograph by noted New Zealand photographer Peter Peryer (1941-) of sheep in an enclosed space, photographed in medium close-up. It illustrates how Peryer's images of animals and objects are also portraits for Peryer, photographic art does not consist in finding a subject and snapping at it, but rather laboriously creating an image within the photographic medium. It is an example of highly personal art form - Peryer focuses on photographs that relate in some way to himself or to his personal experiences; in addition to his self-portraits, many examples reflect on iconic images of New Zealand. It directly reflects on the artist's life experiences. Peryer considers his rural upbringing as a significant influence on his photographic work, and this is evident in numerous images taken throughout his career.It shows an animal that is symbolic of New Zealand's farming heritage and an important aspect of the economy.

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