or Oceanian art
comprises the creative works made by the native people of the Pacific Islands
, including areas as far apart as Hawaii
and Easter Island
. Specifically it comprises the works of the two groups of people who settled the area, though during two different periods. They would in time however, come to interact and together reach even more remote islands. The area is often broken down into four separate regions: Polynesia
, and Melanesia
. The former two share a common ancestral culture of the Lapita
, while the latter two comprise settlers of the first wave of people into the area. All of the regions in later times would be greatly affected by western influence and colonization. In more recent times, the people of Oceania
have found a greater appreciation of their region's artistic heritage.
The artistic creations of these people varies greatly throughout the cultures and regions. The subject matter typically carries themes of fertility or the supernatural. Art such as masks were used in religious ceremonies or social rituals. Petroglyphs
, painting, wood carving, stone carving and textile work are other common art forms. Contemporary Pacific art is alive and well, encompassing traditional styles, symbols, and materials, but now imagined in a diversity of contemporary forms, revealing the complexity of geographic, cultural and individual interaction and history. Read more...