Museums and Māori: Heritage Professionals, Indigenous Collections, Current Practice

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Author: Conal McCarthy
Publication Date: April 2011

This ground-breaking book explores the revolution that’s transformed New Zealand museums in recent decades, and is influencing how museums worldwide care for indigenous objects.

Drawing on practical examples and interviews with professionals from all kinds of institutions, Dr Conal McCarthy lifts the lid on current practice. How do museum professionals deal with the indigenous objects in their care from day to day? How do they engage with tribal communities? How do they meet the needs of visitors, as well as these communities?

The first critical study of its kind, Museums and Māori is an indispensible resource for professionals, students, academics, and museum supporters.

View sample pages here



“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, PhD, Director,
 Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, Santa Fe

Extent: 288pp
Illustrations: 80 b&w
Format: 244mm x 172mm portrait
Binding: PB