The first thing you see is her smile. The girl in black and white looks out the frame to you. The photo seems familiar to me; the pose of the children is timeless. We still pose like that now. But this photo is over 100 years old, yet it is still familiar. I am from New Zealand and I grew up immersed in the Maori culture. These are Maori children in the photo. Maori have lived in New Zealand for hundreds of years. Both sit still in traditional dress, but the girl smiles slightly into the camera in defiance of the Victorian convention not to. I love that! Growing up in New Zealand it is not unusual to see these cloaks being worn at ceremonies and for photos. Remember as a child how your parents would take you to get your portrait taken? I imagine these children would have had the same experience as us today. There are photographers in New Zealand offer to take photos of children in this same dress. Some of my girlhood friends have photos that look identical to this girl and her companion, only in colour. Now their children are having the same photo taken. The girl and her companion have had their hair done and have had to put on their best outfits. Just like I had to as a girl. The girl with her slight smile has her arm around the younger child, who leans into her. I definitely think this shows they are siblings and we all know parents love photos of their children together! This photo is special because it shows that some things to do not change with time. This girl could be any girl growing up in New Zealand today. And if you hadn‚Äôt guessed, I just love the way¬†she starting smile.
Girl Museum Inc.