This groundbreaking book explores the revolution in New Zealand museums that is influencing the care and exhibition of indigenous objects worldwide. Drawing on practical examples and research in all kinds of institutions, Conal McCarthy explores the history of relations between museums and indigenous peoples, innovative exhibition practices, community engagement, and curation. He lifts the lid on current practice, showing how museum professionals deal with the indigenous objects in their care, engage with tribal communities, and meet the needs of visitors. The first critical study of its kind, Museums and Maori is an indispensible resource for professionals working with indigenous objects, indigenous communities and cultural centers, and for researchers and students in museology and indigenous studies programs.
Conal McCarthy is director of the Museum and Heritage Studies Program at the Victoria University of Wellington. He has worked as an art educator, curator, and exhibition interpreter at the New Zealand National Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato, and sits on the boards of the Adam Art Gallery and New Zealand Cricket Museum. Previous books include Exhibiting Maori: A History of Colonial Cultures of Display (Berg).
“Using a theoretical perspective grounded in museum practice, McCarthy masterfully brings the experiences of both museum professionals and Maori communities together over the past three decades and discusses the successes, pitfalls and frustrations posed by the social and ethnic tensions that exist in New Zealand despite the government’s attempts at 'biculturalism.' … This case study of museums and the Maori could fit any country where Europeans invaded and colonized indigenous peoples. This book is required reading for museum professionals currently working in museums that hold and exhibit indigenous collections and for anyone planning to become a museum professional. I would also recommend this to anyone studying identity politics, the history of colonization and de-colonization, and the advancements by indigenous peoples throughout the world who are engaging in the process of self-determination.”
--Shelby Tisdale, Ph.D., Director, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology