Maori Culture

Topics: Māori, Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand Pages: 56 (23110 words) Published: September 13, 2013
Indigenous methodology
The importance of immersion in the tangata whenua language and cultural values – the way of expression of our respect. We have to treat each other as equal partners with mutual respect (Ki a koe tētehi kīwai, ki a au tētehi kīwai. For you one handle of the basket and for me the other.). The powhiri should be completed to enclose parties, but the affiliations of tangate ke remind temporary and artificial and it affects research outcomes. The commited stranger has reciprocal duty or obligation to those many tangata whenua who gave freely of their learning, Our work should enhance the oranga (well-being) of all. The subjects as Māori Studies are concerned to reintegrate past and present knowledges belonging to the people, in order to create a coherent and living whole, in place of colonialism’s alienation and fragmentation of knowledge. Additionally aboriginal scientists are immersed in indigenous methodology and epistemology, to benefit local community 'The route to Maoritanga through abstract interpretation is a dead end. The way can only lie through a passionate, subjective approach. ... the so-called objectivity some insist on is simply a form of arid abstraction, a model or a map. It is not the same thing as the taste of reality'.[1] Life in all its daily complexity is converted into a neat and tidy explanation belonging ‘to an observer’s perceptions’ where they become ‘the currency of communication amongst the observers’.[2] As a result, the people frequently feel marginalized from such objectifying work; as if they have lost possession of the stories, songs or histories that belong to them. Theory have to be informed by practice, by which I mean a commitment to the well-being of those being researched. Such personal engagement and experimentation is not always well received by non-Indigenous academics, especially those who control what is accepted for academic publication. Thaman recalls how one of her articles was rejected ‘because there was too much of me in it; it was too different, too personal, and too Tongan. ‘there can be no detachment of the knower from the known’, ‘knowledge is socially constructed by communities of knowledge-makers’ Konai Helu Thaman[3] describes dichotomy between western and indigenous model: your way / objective / analytic ... / my way / subjective / gut-feeling ... . Indigenous researchers use their social networks for scientific survey – the whanau is recognized as a supervisory and organizational structure for handling research

Myths and legends reflect themes commonly found in the stories of indigenous cultures, in the Maori cultural context are neither fables embodying primitive faith in the supernatural, nor marvellous fireside stories of ancient times. They were deliberate constructs employed by the ancient seers and sages to encapsulate and condense into easily assimilable forms their view of the world, of ultimate reality and the relationship between the Creator, the universe and man. There seems to be as many versions of the founding myths as there are Maori iwi (tribes) in New Zealand, which is not surprising in an oral tradition. Before Io[4] there was nothing, he was reigning in the loneliness of “the great void (emptiness)” - Te Korekore. He fertilised with the seeds of all possible creatures belonging to the domains of light, sky, earth and oceans. They were named and they took shape (“In the beginning was the Word...”). Io created the first gods The sky (Rangi – father, masculine principle) and the earth (mother, femine principle, Papatūānuku) were clasped together and the world (between them) existed in total darkness. Their children[5] lived in this darkness, trapped between their parents. The separation of Rangi and Papatuanuku allowed light to enter the world which in turn led to the growth of all plants and animals. However, the separation was bitter, painful and precipitated by the children’s need to dominate their parents. The creation...
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