The Fable: The Kuri and the Hare
The Fable: The Kuri and the Hare
The Fable: The Kuri and the Hare
Sean Crawford

The Fable: The Kuri and the Hare


The Fable: The Kuri and the Hare

Laser cut steel ferns and muskets, steel extrusion with a powder coat render.

Hare: 900 (l) x 570 (h) x 390 (d) mm approx
Kuri: 1120 (l) x 550 (h) x 520 (d) mm approx


This work is based on the idea of a fable - as in Aesop’s Fables - a story with
a moral attached. In this original tale, the idea of our colonial past is once
again explored. The Kuri (also known as the Polynesian dog) was used by
Maori as a commodity, as well as for materials utilized in cloak making. These
‘dog skin cloaks’ were garments that possessed great mana and made a bold
historical reference to the lineage and status of the wearer.

Here, the fern cloak represents having guardianship, not ownership, over the
whenua (land). It becomes a mystical embodiment of an alternative,
caretaker-type of relationship to owning land. The Hare, introduced in 1851 in
Canterbury, symbolizes the politics of colonization.

In this sculpture, one party uses a fetishized object of a seemingly progressive
modern culture (the muskets that form the Hare) to gain the control of
resources from the natural, or indigenous world (the Kuri and its cloak of
ferns). With the cultural twisting of ‘equitable value’, reference is also made as
to exactly what constitutes ‘a good deal’. The colonizers ‘musket trade’ - a
device to take life (and often land) - is juxtaposed to the nurturing of whenua
as ‘provider or sustainer.’

Regardless of documents like the Treaty of Waitangi - there was
misappropriation and misrepresentation - referred to by many as deception.
This becomes even more pertinent when Eurocentric concepts become
prioritized over indigenous beliefs. Specifically, individual or direct ownership
of land being prioritized over the idea of being guardians of the natural world
and its resources.

Regular price $15,500.00
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