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Decolonizing Conservation
Caring for Maori Meeting Houses outside New Zealand
Dean Sully (Editor)
272 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Apr, 2008
Paperback (978-1-59874-310-4)
Hardback (978-1-59874-309-8)
eBook (978-1-61132-478-5)
eBook Rental - 180 Days (978-1-61132-478-5)
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  - Critical Cultural Heritage Series
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    Archaeology Publications

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  - Archaeology
  - Cultural Studies & the Arts
  - Ethnic Studies
  - Heritage Management and Heritage Studies
  - Museum Studies & Practice
  - Native American and Indigenous Studies

This book argues for an important shift in cultural heritage conservation, away from a focus on maintaining the physical fabric of material culture toward the impact that conservation work has on
" I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it to anyone working with cultural heritage, not just conservation, because it covers in plain language all the major questions faced by anyone trying to navigate an ethical course between scientific interests in heritage on the one hand and local community interests on the other...in short, Decolonising Conservation provides a substantial footing for root-and-branch change in the way we go about our business. "

- Ian Lilley, Heritage & Society

"One of the strengths of this publication is that the diverse group of contributors—including conservators, anthropologists, lawyers, and Māori—provides a range of views from many different approaches...this publication is a useful addition to cultural heritage practitioners and to the discourse of evolving international conservation practice."

- Vicki-Anne Heikell, Museum Anthropology

"There a number of reasons to celebrate this text...Sully demonstrates how diversity is effective conservation decision making...he shows how opposing views can inform rather than complicate conservation projects."

- Robyn Sloggett, Studies in Conservation

" The book's chapter layout and contributor essays are well-organized, succinct, and relevant for the study of New Zealand wharenui in international locations...Sully's expertise on Maori meeting houses is unsurpassed. Likewise, undergraduate and graduate students of Maori studies, cultural preservation, museology, oceania, anthropology, folklore, and archaeology will find Decolonising Conservation most helpful. Read the complete review at: http://indigenouspeoplesissues.com/index.php?option=com_content&id=1048"

- Matthew J. Forss, Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

"What an esoteric title: who but a few would be interested? Anyone concerned with the practicalities of conserving tangible heritage, whatever the sort or origin; anyone engaged in debates about intercultural representation. Summing up: Recommended."

- A.F. Roberts, CHOICE

"The authors are congratulated on producing an engaging and well-illustrated volume which will simultaneously be of interest to those involved in the care of marae and other aspects of Maori heritage (both within and outside of New Zealand), as well as those of us with an interest in the ways in which an indigenous and post-colonial critique is transforming contemporary heritage practice in the modern world."

- Rodney Harrison, Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites

"This is an important book, not because it argues for anything that is particularly new to the conservation profession, but rather because it once again, and very ably, demonstrates that it is possible, desirable, and effective to develop 'community conservation' with communities in distant lands, to break down the barriers of former colonial social relationships, and to build new 'participatory' social relationships in their stead. "

- Daniel Cull, e-conservation

people’s lives. In doing so, it challenges the commodification of sacred objects and places by western conservation thought and attempts to decolonize conservation practice. To do so, the authors examine conservation activities at Maori marae—meeting houses—located in the US, Germany, and England and contrasts them with changes in marae conservation in New Zealand. A key case study is the Hinemihi meeting house, transported to England in the 1890s where it was treated as a curiosity by visitors to Clandon Park for over a century, and more recently as a focal point of cultural activity for UK Maori communities. Recent efforts to include various Maori stakeholder communities in the care of this sacred structure is a key example of community based conservation that can be replicated in heritage practice around the world.

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