Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I'm reluctant to label biculturalism trendy but it must be said that, in some quarters, there has been a sudden embracing of Maori cultural items as what I like to call 'contemporary design currency.' The traditional hei tiki for instance, is suddenly de rigeur in modern New Zealand homes as some sort of interior design statement. Naturally many people do this with good intentions; others as a result of some frenzied, rather manic rush to establish New Zealand's identity (as they see it) - as if we didn't have one already! Warning warning...soap box soap box! I suppose it's a good thing that people have become more aware and, dare I say it, more comfortable with traditional Maori design and motifs, but we should err on the side of caution so as not to undermine them as significant items of cultural and historical importance.