Contact between Pacific peoples and Europeans increased dramatically in the mid 1800s, as European settlement of Oceania expanded. With more interaction came tremendous change, in the arts as much as other realms.
Pacific peoples experimented with new ideas, materials, and technologies, as they had done throughout their long history in the region. They took customary art practices, including carving and weaving, in fresh directions, often creating new hybrid forms.
Over time, European settlers felt more at home in their new island environment. European artisans, like their Pacific counterparts, took on indigenous ideas and materials, though sometimes with little regard for cultural protocols or meanings.
In this chapter:
Carving out change
New tools and materials facilitated new forms in carving.
Clothing and textiles were another aspect of culture in which materials and forms were dynamically exchanged.
European artisans began to experiment with indigenous elements.