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    A Critique of Drawing of Traditional Maori Tattoo, an Art by Sydney Parkinson

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    For this assignment, I chose to read Chapter 3.5 about the art of Africa and the Pacific Islands. Within this chapter, I chose Sydney Parkinson’s Drawing oftroditionol Maori tattoo. The style of art this realism because it closely represents a person who could have actually existed and looked the way that they are depicted in this picture. The lines that the artist mainly uses are very diagonal; running from the top left to the bottom right. You can tell this by the lines of the head on both sides the angle of the shoulder and the slant of the straw-like shawl that they are wearing The half-moon line that is on the lower left part of the drawing creates an eye-catching moment to get the viewer to look at the straw shawl more. There are a few shapes used in this drawing, One is the shape of the head which is traditionally round or oval, but in this case, it is a distinctively almond shape with significant points at each end,  also, there is the obscure shape of the feathers in the headpiece that they are wearing.

    They are not necessarily oval and they are not quite tear drop shape either, The drawing is monochromatic of what I think to be as brown, I believe that the artist did this to emphasize the tattoos on the person’s skin because that is what the Mori Tribe is known for, The picture shows areas of light and dark to show shadows and brightness to make it more realistic. The artwork, to me, visually shows a tradition within a tribe that was passed down for many years that was well depicted by the artist. The visual impact that this drawing had on the original audience was amazement. I believe this because of what the drawing is of and how the artist drew it to visually show the traditions of a tribe that would be lost without visual representations.

    Also, I think that the initial reaction of viewers would be astonished because of the beauty that is put into the tattoos. According to the book, each one was unique to the person it was on and I think that the artist was to show the originality of this certain member‘s tattoo. The last initial reaction 1 think the original viewers was had was respect for the culture and traditions of the tribe. I think this because of the knowledge of the tattoo is well shown in the picture that shows the importance of them. This could tell the audience a story of the member’s journey through life without words. I am not sure how large the picture actually is or where it was originally shown because the book does not share that but research of the artist showed me that they were alive in the eighteenth century so I do believe that it could be a drawing of a real member of the tribe.

    The person depicted in the picture is of a traditional member of the Maori Tribe in New Zealand it was drawn to show the tattoos of the tribe of which were the most elaborate in the world. These tattoos were done to show different events in the member’s life such as becoming a warrior or major life events like marriage They also covered the entire body and were done in an ancient form that injected ink under the skin It is also known as the first tattoos in the world. The tattoos were significant to this tribe because it was a special marking for each person that was involved. They visually showed the values of the tribe on the skin An interesting fact that the book states is that the tattoos were used as a form of a legal signaturei (Thames & Hudson) This picture was well done and done out of respect for the tribe and their traditions.

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    A Critique of Drawing of Traditional Maori Tattoo, an Art by Sydney Parkinson. (2023, Mar 16). Retrieved from

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