Sir Apirana Ngata & Three Major Developments that Occured in Maori Art Duting His Lifetime
Few figures cast as long a shadow over New Zealand history as Sir Apirana Ngata. He is not only the first Maori university graduate, but also the country's first BA/LLB recipient and was a member of parliament for thirty-eight years whose initiative and determination aided the survival of Maori culture. This essay will explore three of his accomplishments, particularly in Maori arts: the popularisation of Maori oratory arts, the revival of traditional Maori architecture and the establishment of the School of Maori Arts and Crafts.
Early in his career, Ngata recognised the need to perpetuate a Maori renaissance in order to create a national Maori identity in reaction to the government's assimilationist policies . He began striving for this through the popularisation of the oratory arts. Ngata observed the popularity of Pakeha song and utilised this to appeal to Maori youths . With the aid of Northern Maori MP, Hone Heke, Ngata translated Pakeha songs into Maori as well as applying original Maori lyrics to Pakeha tunes .
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