09. The Pacific, Art & Humanities

AP Art History: Materials, Processes, and Techniques in Pacific Art

AP Art History: Materials, Processes, and Techniques in Pacific Art
*Note: The enduring “Enduring understanding,” “Learning Objective,” & “Essential Knowledge” language comes from the 2019 AP Art History Curriculum and Exam Guide.

Enduring Understanding: Art and art making take many different forms both within and across cultures, and the materials, processes, and techniques employed may also vary by location and culture with wide-ranging influence on the art that is generated.

Learning Objective: Explain how materials, processes, and techniques affect art and art making.

Essential Knowledge: Pacific arts are composed of objects, acts, and events that are forces in social life. Created in a variety of media, Pacific arts are distinguished by the virtuosity with which materials are used  and presented.

Essential Knowledge: Pacific arts are objects and events created from fibers, pigments, bone, sea ivory, seashell, and tortoise shell, as well as wood, coral, and stone, which are carried, exchanged, and used by  peoples of the region.

Art created with fibers:

    • 215. ‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape). Hawaiian. Late 18th century CE. Feathers and fiber.
    • 216. Staff god. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, central Polynesia. Late 18th to early 19th century CE. Wood, tapa, fiber, and feathers.
    • 218. Buk (mask). Torres Strait. Mid- to late 19th century CE. Turtle shell, wood, fiber, feathers, and shell.
    • 219. Hiapo (tapa). Niue. c. 1850–1900 CE. Tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting.
    • 221. Navigation chart. Marshall Islands, Micronesia. 19th to early 20th century CE. Wood and fiber
    • 222. Malagan display and mask. New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. c. 20th century CE. Wood, pigment, fiber, and shell.
    • 223. Presentation of Fijian mats and tapa cloths to Queen Elizabeth II. Fiji, Polynesia. 1953 CE. Multimedia performance (costume; cosmetics, including scent; chant; movement; and pandanus fiber/hibiscus fiber mats), photographic documentation.

Art created with sea ivory, coral & seashell:

Art created with tortoise shell:

Art created with wood:

    • 216. Staff god. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, central Polynesia. Late 18th to early 19th century CE. Wood, tapa, fiber, and feathers.
    • 217. Female deity. Nukuoro, Micronesia. c. 18th to 19th century CE. Wood.
    • 221. Navigation chart. Marshall Islands, Micronesia. 19th to early 20th century CE. Wood and fiber.
    • 222. Malagan display and mask. New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. c. 20th century CE. Wood, pigment, fiber, and shell.

Art created with stone:

    • 213. Nan Madol. Pohnpei, Micronesia. Saudeleur Dynasty. c. 700–1600 CE. Basalt boulders and prismatic columns.
    • 214. Moai on platform (ahu). Rapa Nui (Easter Island). c. 1100–1600 CE. Volcanic tuff figures on basalt base.

Essential Knowledge: Objects and behaviors in the cultures of the Pacific are often designed and presented to stimulate a particular response. Rare and precious materials are used to demonstrate wealth, status, and particular circumstance. Ritual settings are structured with elements that address all of the senses. Physical combat and warfare are announced and preceded by displays of ferocity in dress, dance, verbal aggression, and gestural threats.

Art associated with wealth & status:

    • 213. Nan Madol. Pohnpei, Micronesia. Saudeleur Dynasty. c. 700–1600 CE. Basalt boulders and prismatic columns.
    • 216. Staff god. Rarotonga, Cook Islands, central Polynesia. Late 18th to early 19th century CE. Wood, tapa, fiber, and feathers.
    • 219. Hiapo (tapa). Niue. c. 1850–1900 CE. Tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting.
    • 220. Tamati Waka Nene. Gottfried Lindauer. 1890 CE. Oil on canvas.
    • 223. Presentation of Fijian mats and tapa cloths to Queen Elizabeth II. Fiji, Polynesia. 1953 CE. Multimedia performance (costume; cosmetics, including scent; chant; movement; and pandanus fiber/hibiscus fiber mats), photographic documentation.

Art associated with combat & warfare:

Suggested Artworks:

  • 215. ‘Ahu ‘ula (feather cape). Hawaiian. Late 18th century CE. Feathers and fiber.
  • 217. Female deity. Nukuoro, Micronesia. c. 18th to 19th century CE. Wood.
  • 219. Hiapo (tapa). Niue. c. 1850–1900 CE. Tapa or bark cloth, freehand painting.

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