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Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Indigenous People

Have you ever wanted to explore the world?Aren't you curious whats out there other than the things that you normally see everyday?The world is a vast place to explore and to let your senses feel the things you never did.Gaining such experience would be one of a kind and memorable.One of the things that made me well curious would be the Maori tribe in New Zealand.I think its amazing how they preseve their way of living and are able to acheive the same success as the general population of New Zealanders.You should know that are two classes of people that make New Zealand.They are:

a)Pakena are white people whose ancestors lived in Europe
b)Maori are brown people whose ancestors lived in New Zealand for many generations.

Although there are two classes,they are not separated but are all equal New Zealanders.The Maori tribe still resides at North Island.Lifestyles of the Maori people are different from then and now.This happened during the mid 1800's,when Christians and Protestants began to work in New Zealand.By 1840 almost all in the Maori population became Christians.The word maree refers to a piece of land owned in common by a subdivision of the tribe.It is usually used as a meeting place.

In this modern era of fast changes and the new up and coming technology,this mentioned tribe do their best in preserving their old culture and tradition.Maori people define themselves by their:

a)iwi (tribe)

b)hapu (sub-tribe)

c)maunga (mountain)

d)awa (river).

Whanau is the name given to a family.This term embraces immediate family, in-laws and all those that are related ny blood.

Recently,more effort was put in to preserve their culture.At kohanga reo(kindergarden),preschool children are encouraged to speak in Maori. Primary and secondary schools build on this early immersion by including Maori in the curriculum.

Furthermore,marae provides a focus for social, cultural and spiritual life. The term marae describes a communal 'plaza' area that includes a wharenui (meeting house) and wharekai (dining room).

Te Reo Maori - the Maori Language

Kia ora - Hello
Kia ora tatou - Hello everyone
Tena koe - Greetings to you (said to one person)
Tena koutou - Greeting to you all
Haere mai - Welcome
Nau mai - Welcome
Kei te pehea koe? - How's it going?
Kei te pai - Good
Tino pai - Really good
Haere ra - Farewell
Ka kite ano - Until I see you again (Bye)
Hei konei ra - See you later

The famous known tradition of the Maori tribe would be the Haka.This dance is usually seen at rugby matches.It is commonly known as a war dance but in fact it is just a dance accompanied by music.The history of the first use of the haka in the was attributed to the chief Tinirau and to his womenfolk.Tinirau desired revenge for the killing of a pet whale, so he sent a hunting party of women to find the man responsible, an old tohunga(priest) called Kae. The women didn't know what Kae looked like, but they knew he had uneven teeth that overlapped.When the women arrived at Kae's village they performed the haka to force a smile from the men in order to uncover Kae's identity.Finally,Kae was captured and taken back to Tinirau's village where he was killed.So that is how Haka came about.

Learning another's culture is never a waste of time.It is a good practice to be exposed by different culture and traditon.This helps us to adapt to changes quickly.Observing their survival through the course of time,we should respect and learn their culture.Acknowledging a different culture would make us less ignorant and selfish.In a lifetime,we should be exposed to many different things to avoid regret during old age.In the end,just remember that life is short,make it sweet =)

Islamic Art

Art is something that is created by man to express their feelings or to convey a message. In Islamic arts, the messages of Allah are conveyed through art medias such as porcelain ware, biuilding designs, metalwork, textiles, carpets and other everyday objects. The messages are condensed into one word, which is "Tauhid" meaning the oneness of Allah and is the main characteristics of Islamic arts.

One of the branches of Islamic arts is the Islamic calligraphy. The words used in Islamic calligraphy chiefly consists of Arabic words, verses in the Quran, or jawi,an adapted arabic alphabet for writing in Malay.They are generally used to decorate the walls of mosques, porcelain ware, glassware, tombstones, coins, carpets, textiles and metalworks.

There are many types of Arabic calligraphy, but the two best known are the Kufi and Naskhi. the shape of Kufi letters are mainly perpendicular because it is patterned in the way soldiers marced in Mesopotamia. Since the letters are staright and perpendicular, they are most suitable for carving on mosaic, tiles and stones in buildings such as mosques and fortresses. As time progressed, the calligraphy began to develop from it's origianl form to beautiful floral forms.

Different from the Kufi, the Nashki is cursive and linear in form. Since the 12th century, it had replaced the Kufi calligraphy in that it began to be used as a decorative repertoire in Islamic works of art. The Naskhi is more favoured because it's cursive and linear forms enabled much faster writing. The Thuluth was the most popular form in the Naskhi calligraphy. The thuluth are used for the Quran and also commonly found carved out on monuments in Iran and Turkey.

During the 13th century, another form of calligraphy was introduced known as Taliq. Later, the Nastaliq form appeared which is a combination of Naskhi and Taliq. This form is used in Shahnameh manuscripts, literary works of Iran poets. Besides that, there is also the Diwan or Diwani calligraphy. Although adopted as the official writing of Turkey, it is seldom used in works of art or manuscripts.

In Islamic architecture, the characteristics of the buildings represents the expressions of feelings, peace, tranquility and purity. The structure provides maximum entry of light, for it is believed to create a sense of harmony with the environment and also a sense of comfort. Furthermore, the buildings are equipped with beautiful interior and exterior decorative designs which can mostly be found on walls, arcades and roofs. One of the examples of beautiful Islamic architecture is the Madinah mosque.

Other than that, the ceramics of Islamic religion also possessed artistic values. The creation, designs and art of decorating these fragile items were greatly influenced by Chinese ceramics. The ceramics are mostly decorated with only two different colours, but some are multicoloured, adding to their beauty and uniqueness. The basic ceramics are glazed
porcelains and tricolour glazed porcelains. The objects created are mainly everyday objects such as teapot, incence burner, pottery, bowls and candle holder.

Metalwork are not left out in the Islamic art. Compared to other forms of art, metalwork has attained a high standard of technical development and representation in Islamic arts. The metalworks are historically influenced by Sassanian and East Asian arts. Gold and silver were rarely used because the prohibition on it's use for men in Islamic faith. The products of metalwork are usually weapons and armor. The blades are carved with intricate desi
gns and calligraphy or are sometimes inlaid with jewels like ruby or emerald.

Conclusively, Islamic artists create their works of art out of observation, perception and intimate experience of the environment. Muslim artists are constrained by certain religious imperatives. For instance, they must accept that space (the environment) is created by Allah and they themselves are also Allah's creation. They must accept Allah's oneness. Therefore, their creation should not be too extreme because such an act can affect their faith and consequently drove them to be proud or arrogant. Hence, Muslim artists are prohibited from creating human figurines or use human forms in their creations, lest they be tempted into idolatory or polytheism.

Musical Instrument,the ukulele which is usually played at Maori Ceremonies and even for Leisure

Maori Culture,Traditions and history

Maori Culture in New Zealand

Kapa Haka Maori Festival

Maori Culture-Ritual/Ceremony Part 1

Maori Culture-Ritual/Ceremony Part 2

Maori-Haka Dane


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