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Iconography and identity – the appropriation of crab-claw sails in Oceania

Quanchi, Max (2000) Iconography and identity – the appropriation of crab-claw sails in Oceania. In Pacific Arts Association Conference, Noumea 2000, June 2000, Noumea, New Caledonia. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Art, photography and graphic images of Oceanic sails are scattered across the last four hundred years of visual history in Oceania. The crab-claw or inverted triangular shaped sail, initially depicted in ethnographic and technical drawings, historical tableaux, etchings, photographs, postcards and illustrated books and magazines, took on a new meaning in western imaging when stamps, letterheads, logo and advertisements displaced earlier methods of representing Oceania. The soaring sail, often shown detached from the double-hulled canoe or outrigger, lost its association with long-distance voyaging when stylized, graphic art and computer-generated sail images began to play a symbolic role and national entities, movements, organizations and institutions sought to assert Oceanic identities, cultural unity and political relationships. What began as a visual record of maritime achievement became an evolving iconography of appropriation and commodification serving a range of sovereignty, political and regional campaigns.

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ID Code: 536
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Iconography, photography, Oceania, History, Art, Commodification
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > VISUAL ARTS AND CRAFTS (190500) > Lens-based Practice (190503)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Pacific History (excl. New Zealand and Maori) (210313)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Social Change Research
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > QUT Carseldine - Humanities & Human Services
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 (Please consult author)
Deposited On: 09 Nov 2004
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 19:44

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