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Books by Thomas, Nicholas

Rauru: Tene Waitere, Maori carving, colonial history

ISBN: 978 1 877372 61 2

Tene Waitere of Ngati Tarawhai (1854–1931) was the most innovative Maori carver of his time; his works reached global audiences decades before the globalisation of culture became a fashionable topic. Rauru is the highlight of a famous anthropological museum in Germany. Hinemihi, the carved house featured in one section of this book, sheltered survivors of the Tarawera eruption in 1886 before being removed to the park of an English country house. His carved Ta Moko panel is one of Te Papa the Museum of New Zealand's icons.

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Hiapo: Past and present in Niuean barkcloth

ISBN: 978 1 877372 00 1

'Hiapo' is the word for barkcloth or tapa in the language of Niue. The aim of this book 'is to reveal the power of a remarkable art, that until now has been obscure to all but a few specialists' - the painted hiapo of Niue island in central Polynesia. Most known pieces of hiapo were produced in the mid to late nineteenth century and are now dispersed, largely in museum collections, all over the world. The authors have worked on this project for a decade, visiting museums, collecting information, travelling to Niue, talking to old people, trying to find out how these paintings were done and who made them.

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Hauaga: The Art of John Pule

ISBN: 978 1 877372 80 3

John Pule is one of the most significant artists living and working in New Zealand today. From the mid-1990s his powerful, enigmatic and personal paintings attracted great interest, and his work came to be widely shown. Famously inspired by hiapo, the innovative barkcloths of nineteenth-century Niue, Pule has been fascinated by the Polynesian past and present, but his work ranges far more widely, responding both to ancestral culture, and to the global terror and violence of our time.

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Cook's Sites: Revisiting history

ISBN: 1 877133 82 5

In 1773, Captain James Cook visited Dusky Sound in the far south of New Zealand. The voyage artist, William Hodges, produced remarkable paintings of the spectacular antipodean environment, and of the Maori people who occupied it. The visit represents one of the beginnings of New Zealand's colonial history. How do we make sense of it today? The authors of this book have revisited the sites of contact between Cook's crews in Dusky Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound.

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Artefacts of Encounter: Cook’s voyages, colonial collecting and museum histories

ISBN: 978 1 877578 69 4

The Pacific artefacts and works of art collected during the three voyages of Captain James Cook and the navigators, traders and missionaries who followed him are of foundational importance for the study of art and culture in Oceania. These collections are representative not only of technologies or belief systems but of indigenous cultures at the formative stages of their modern histories, and exemplify Islanders’ institutions, cosmologies and social relationships. Recently, scholars from the Pacific and further afield, working with Pacific artefacts at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge (MAA), have set out to challenge and rethink some longstanding assumptions on their significance. The Cook voyage collection at the MAA is among the four or five most important in the world, containing over 200 of the 2000-odd objects with Cook voyage provenance that are dispersed throughout the world. The collection includes some 100 artefacts dating from Cook’s first voyage. This stunning book catalogues this collection, and its cutting-edge scholarship sheds new light on the significance of many artefacts of encounter.