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Cultural Appropriation and Cook Island Visual Identity

The issues surrounding appropriation leads this study to investigate if cultural appropriation is detrimental to Cook Island culture. The research focuses on Cook Island culture with the aim of identifying if appropriation occurs and if it leads to loss of Cook Island visual identity. Furthermore, the research considers the references utilised by Cook Island young adults with the aim of identifying the associations made with their visual identity. This extends to consider if Cook Island young adults have stronger associations with brands who appropriate Cook Island designs to their own culture. Thus, giving thought to consider if the influence of cultural primes utilised by foreign agencies generate a loss of identity within the youth culture of the Cook Islands, and ultimately generate a loss of cultural identity for future generations. However, the limitations of this research and lack of literature, hindered the ability to substantiate if cultural appropriation leads to loss of Cook Island visual identity. Nonetheless, the research did provide recognition of the issues faced by the Cook Islands regarding cultural appropriation, identifying its ability to afford the same protection of its cultural forms as provided to those within Western society, are hindered due to the nature of its arts and culture. Furthermore, the research acknowledges the difficulty surrounding the identification of motifs considered to be distinct to the Cook Islands is predicated upon motifs generalised as Polynesian. The research also provided insight into the cues utilised by Cook Island young adults in the formation of their visual identity and, acknowledges the existence of brands utilising cultural forms as references utilised for representations of their visual identity.
Type of thesis
Kea, B. E. (2009). Cultural Appropriation and Cook Island Visual Identity (Thesis, Master of Computer Graphic Design (MCGD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3583
The University of Waikato
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