Maori Art and Design

Welcome to the portal on Maori art and design, and Maori culture as illustrated in the traditional and contemporary art. We publish versatile articles on history and modernity of Maori art from different perspectives, covering several thematic areas. We aim to introduce people to the fascinating realm of Maori arts, and how these live and evolve in a completely new, global, and interconnected world.

Traditional Art and History

Maori art is a genre that has a long history and is inspired by a complex system of values, traditions and beliefs. It has long had a very distinctive character. We write articles on the traditions of the art, how these traditions emerged, and how they influenced individual artists.

Contemporary Art and Maori identity in the 21st Century

Since the European colonisation of New Zealand, the Maori artistic expression came under stress and started to develop. Coming in contact with the rest of the world fundamentally transformed the art. It started a dialogue between local and global artistic communities. We write on how these developments influenced Maori art and how the communities in the modern era experience Maori art.

Artistic Expression

Maori art is expressed through numerous media. Plastic arts are the most visible part of the tradition – carvings, tattoos, textiles, traditional clothing and wooden decorations are immediately recognisable parts of Maori artistic culture. But there are also more performative forms of art, such as dance and song. We present the most important traditional forms of creative expression in indigenous New Zealand and discuss how they are visible in today’s world.


A massive global online community has emerged around Maori art and culture. It is easier than ever to learn and share more on the internet than ever before. We discuss how the digital media contribute to expand Maori art around the world, promote learning, and make sharing ideas possible over social channels.