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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Can We Go Home Now?

Can We Go Home Now?

Circa 1890s New Zealand. "Carte de visite portrait, Maori woman and child from Hawkes Bay." Glass negative, Samuel Carnell studio, Napier. View full size.

 

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Update on Moko

The derelict movie theatre was the Oxford Theatre, originally built as the Grand in 1914, renamed Oxford after being acquired by a large cinema chain in 1939, demolished 1973 or soon after.

Textile Treasure

The kiwi feather cloak (called a Kahu kiwi) worn by the child was an important prestige garment believed to have protective properties (for the wearers if not for the kiwis). The thousands of feathers forming the pile were attached to a foundation of finger-woven New Zealand flax fiber.

Moko

It's rare to see facial moko (tattooing) on Maori people today, but when I was growing up in Auckland in the 1960's they were quite common, even on women.

I particularly remember (1964) the group of Maori women with facial moko who would smoke pipes and sit chatting on the steps of the derelict movie theatre in lower Queen Street opposite where the Britomart Centre is today.

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