Maori Culture - Nipissing Univer

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					 Māori Culture
  By Jennifer Baker, Emily Bruce, Céleste Gagnon,
Samantha Gardiner, Aubrie Graham, Katie Otter, Bonnie
           Palmateer, and Lori Simeone.
                The Māori
• The Māori people are the indigenous people of New
• Māoritanga is the native language which is related to
  Tahitian and Hawaiian.
• The present Māori population has increased to about
  250,000 and the Māori live in all parts of New Zealand,
  but predominately in the North Island where the climate
  is warmer.
• The Māori have adapted well to living in 21st century
  New Zealand, yet they have retained their unique
  culture, and this rich culture contributes much to New
  Zealand as a whole.
         Population Distribution

         Māori Demographics
• They are Polynesian and comprise about 15% of the country's
• 1 in 7 people are of Māori ethnicity
• The median age of the population is 22, in 1997 it was 20
 90% of the Māori people live in the North island
 History and Background
• It is believed that the Māori migrated from Polynesia in
  canoes about the 9th century to 13th century AD.
• Dutch navigator Abel Tasman was the first European to
  encounter the Māori. Four members of his crew were
  killed in a bloody encounter in 1642.
• In 1769 British explorer James Cook established friendly
  relations with some Māori. By 1800, visits by European
  ships were relatively frequent.
• At this time, the Māori population was severely reduced
  with the arrival of European settlers. War & disease took
  their toll till eventually the population dropped to about
      Māori and the Land
• In 1840 representatives of Britain and Māori chiefs
  signed the Treaty of Waitangi. This treaty established
  British rule, granted the Māori British citizenship, and
  recognized Māori land rights.
• 1860s brought Māori land wars
• 1890s a parliamentary government was commenced
  establishing democratic lines
• Māori eventually regained their numbers in their
  population through intermarriages and such
• Today many of the treaty's provisions are disputed and
  there has been an effort from the New Zealand
  government to recompense Māori Tribes for some land
  that was illegally confiscated.
               Māori and Politics
• The first Māori inhabitants of New Zealand are now a minority
• In 1985 the government amendment the treaty of Waitangi
• In 1988 the government created the Treaty of Waitangi Act
• Te Ture Whenua Māori Act
Māori People and Culture
    • In 2001 Māori comprised approximately 15%
      (526,281 people) of New Zealand‟s population. This
      figure is forecast to reach 16.6% (750,000) in 2021.

    • In 2004 the Māori people were more diverse and
      dispersed than at any other time in their history.
      Some continued to live in their traditional tribal areas.
      Most, however, lived elsewhere, usually in urban
      centres. In 2001, 64% of Māori were living in the main
      urban areas, and only 16% in rural areas. Many also
      lived in other countries, with over 70,000 in Australia
      and up to 10,000 in Britain.
Māori People and Culture
     • The Māori culture is going through enormous change,
     with the establishment of new institutions and

     These include:
     • The creation of institutions where teaching and
     learning is conducted substantially in the Māori
     language. In 2001 there were over 500 kōhanga reo
     (language nests), teaching over 10,000 preschool
     children; over 50 kura kaupapa Māori (teaching
     schoolchildren in full Māori-language immersion
     programmes); and three whare wānanga (tertiary
Māori People and Culture

     Culture Continued
     • The rearrangement and strengthening of
       tribal structures and councils
     • The recapitalization of tribally owned
     • The establishment of over 20 Māori radio
       stations and a television channel
     • Political representation, with 16 MPs of
       Māori background in Parliament in 2004.
Māori People and Culture
     • The Māori language is an official language of New
     Zealand, and in recent years has undergone a revival.
     However, it is still threatened and, according to the
     2001 census results, was spoken by only one in four
     Māori. Approximately 30,000 non-Māori could speak
     the language.

     Prominent People
     • In early 2000 a number of Māori individuals were
     regarded as major national figures or had international
     reputations in their chosen fields. Among them were
     the opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, film director
     Lee Tamahori, child actor Keisha Castle-Hughes,
     golfer Michael Campbell, artist Ralph Hotere, and
     writers Patricia Grace and Witi Ihimaera.
• The vast majority of place names are of Maori origin. Maori has a
  logical structure and unlike English, has very consistent rules of
• Maori consists of five vowel sounds: a e i o u ('a' as in 'car', 'e' as in
  'egg', 'i' like the 'ee' in 'tee', 'u' like an 'o' in 'to').
• There are eight consonants in Maori similar to those in English - 'h',
  'k', 'm', 'n', 'p', 'r', 't', and 'w'.
• There are also two different consonants - 'wh' and 'ng'. Many Maori
  pronounce the 'wh' sound similar to our 'f'. The 'ng' is similar to our
  own 'ng' sound in a word like 'sing', except that in Maori, words can
  start with 'ng'.
                     Māori Greetings
• Tena koe: hello (one person)
• Tena Korua: hello (to two people)
• Hei Konei or Kei Knoa: Bye
• Kei te peblea koe: How are you? (Southern dialect)
• Pehea ana: How are you (northern dialect)
• Pai ahw: I‟m well (northern dialect)
• Māori language day is celebrated annually in the last week of July.

                                  The traditional Māori welcome is called a
                                  powhiri, this involves a hongi which is a
                                  greeting that involves pressing noses as
                                  opposed to a kiss.
               The Māori Family
In the early 19th century, when British settlers arrived, the Māori
people were living with their extended families in tribal groups.
• The land was owned by tribes and sub-tribes, rather than individuals.
• Since then, there have been many changes and challenges for the
typical Māori family.

Today most Māori people live in family units
• 82.4% of Māori people live in a family situation
• Extended families are still common.
• Extended families typically consist of grandparents, children, and
• Relatives (called whanau) are very important.
                    Family Roles
• Long ago, males and females had both significant roles in the Māori
• Males were responsible for speaking to the tribe and even today,
many elders still believe this should continue.
• The roles of both males and females have changed over the years.
• Some Māori women hold jobs outside the home.
• There is a greater incidence of domestic violence among Māori
compared to non-Māori people in New Zealand.
                     View of Elders
•Traditionally elders were viewed with respect and held positions of
• Today the Māori continue to have a very positive attitude toward aging and
the elderly.
•Older people (called kaumatua) are considered wise and experienced, and
their opinions are respected.
• Māori ancestry and age are of much greater importance than professional
• To some more elderly and conservative Māori the male head of family of a
female prime minister would have the greater status and right to be heard
• The approach is often more flexible now and doctors, priests and even
senior politicians are accorded additional rank over age alone.
• Powers of oratory are also recognized and can overcome many of the
limitation of age or breeding.
   Tapu (Conduct/Basic Beliefs)
• Tapu was one of the strongest forces in Maori life and had
  numerous meanings and references.
• Tapu can be interpreted as "sacred", and contains a strong
  imposition of rules and prohibitions. Certain people and objects
  contain mana- spiritual power or essence therefore a person, object
  or place, which is mana and considered tapu, may not be touched or
  even in some cases approached.
• For example, in earlier times, tribal members of a higher rank would
  not touch objects which belonged to members of a lower rank.
  Similarly, persons of a lower rank could not touch the belongings of
  a highborn person.
• Certain objects were particularly tapu, so much so that it was a
  dangerous act to even touch them, apart from suitably qualified
  priests. A breach of tapu could incur the wrath of the Gods and
  death was the penalty for serious infringements.
     Noa (Conduct/Basic Beliefs)
• Noa, on the other hand, is the opposite to tapu and includes the
  concept of common.
• Noa also has the concept of a blessing in that it can lift the rules and
  prohibitions of tapu.
   Traditional/Historical Rituals for
            Barren Women
• A rite, known as whakato tamariki, translated as child implanting was
performed by priests.
• The priest asked which sex was desired by the parents, then procured a
leaf which he cut into the outline of a human figure. He then conducted the
woman to a tapu place and bade her lie down on a mat.
• A purification ritual followed in order to remove all evil and harmful
  Traditional/Historical Barren Rituals
• The priest then intoned an invocation to Io the Supreme One, asking him
to endow the woman with the powers of the Earth Formed Maid, the power
to produce children.
• He then places the leaf image on the body of the woman, just above the
• The next act is the lifting of the tapu from them both, after which the
woman is free to return to her home.
•The priest preserved the leaf image, which was afterwards placed under
her pillow when she was about to confined.
• A less ritualized processed was piki whenua, a woman stands over a birth
site in hopes of becoming fertile.
           Childbearing Beliefs
• Goddesses presiding over birth were Hina-te-iwaiwa or Hine-
te-iwaiwa, and Hine-korako.
• The first-born male and female child is highly honoured.
Later-born sons and daughters were not.
• In the case of a high-born woman, laborious work would not
be expected of her when it was known that she was with child.
• During pregnancy, if a woman developed a desire for any
particular food, it was said that the child craved it, and that
food was called a whakawaiu, a producer of milk.
• The Māori believed that the unborn child receives
sustenance from the mother through the fontanelles, or rua kai
(food apertures).
• Sometimes a pregnant woman was not allowed to have her
hair cut because it might stunt the child‟s growth in utero.
        More Childbearing Beliefs
• If the dark parts of a woman's breasts are large, then the child is
considered to be female, it is the reverse for a male child. Also, if a
woman has a flushed face then the child is a female.
• A male child is never born during an easterly or northerly wind, and a
female child during a southerly or westerly one.
• The Māori do not like to see an infant held much or frequently by
people other than its parents.
• If a first-born child died in infancy the parents would get a priest to
perform the Tuora rite over the next child born, so as to preserve its life.
• Cases of premature birth were supposed to have been brought about
by the mother having infringed some law of tapu.
                      Birth Process
• Childbirth could not take place within the ordinary dwelling house,
it was considered tapu.
• During the last few weeks of her pregnancy, a pregnant woman
who was said to be tapu was segregated from the community and
gave birth either in the open or in a temporary shelter which was
erected for the purpose and later burnt. This was called the whare
kohanga, literally, the nest house. It was only usually built for high-
ranking women and only for their first delivery.
• Karakia (prayers) to Hineteiwaiwa, were recited to ease the pain
during birth. The karakia would differ depending on whether the
labour was going normally or was particularly difficult.
• The iho (cord) was cut with a chip of obsidian, tied with flax fibre
and the stump rubbed with titoki oil before being bandaged. The
whenua (placenta) was taken away by the mother's mother, aunt or
other close relative to be buried in a secret place. When the dried
naval cord eventually came away, it too was hidden.
                  Tua/Tohi Ritual
• The most important ceremony occurred when the iho
(umbilical chord) falls off. resembled a traditional Christian
• The object of which was not so much the naming of the child
as its dedication to the and placed in their care. It is also a
purificatory ritual one, intended to remove the tapu pertaining to
• Speeches were given by the relatives and both parents
welcoming the newborn child into the world. A sort of baptism
took place in a river.
• The two most important charms recited over the child during
the ritual were known as the Tua of Tu and Tua of Rongo. The
former was connected with the art of war, while the latter was for
the purpose of endowing the child with energy and ability in the
arts of peace.
• The child might be given a tapu name at birth, if of a high-class
family, but this name was discarded at or after the Tua rite, and
a new one was then given tothe infant. The first name is
described as an ingoa whakaii or ingoa whakarare.
         Māori View of Time
• The Māori cultural concept of time is also different from
  the frequent western conceptualization.
• As a part of the Māori belief system, time is considered
  to be a circular process.
• The “traditional” Māori notions of time are highly
  localized, in the sense that it differs from region to
  region, family to family. It is not possible to define one
  composite singular “Māori perspective” of time, just as it
  is impossible to isolate and identify absolute agreement
  on any universal truth from any culture.
• This is very much a part of their concept of whakapapa,
  which can be loosely translated as family tree, but is
  much more complicated than our notion of a family tree.
• Everything in the universe is connected in whakapapa,
  and this lends itself to a heightened feeling of connection
  between the past present and future.
• Whakapapa is strictly the actual recital of genealogy, and a
  genealogical stave is used when the whakapapa recital is
  taking place.
• These are wooden sticks, called whakapapa rakau, with knobs
  running down the shaft. The knobs on the genealogical stave
  serve to help the memory when a person is reciting the
  whakapapa, the knobs representing the different ancestry.
• A genealogical stave may count up to 18 successive
  generations in its carvings, and most original whakapapa
  rakau averaged over a meter in length.
• The whakapapa is also often retold in intricate carvings on the
  Whare (the meeting house on the Marae) paying tribute to the
           Māori View of Time
• Decisions made by those in charge were heavily affected
  by considerations for future generations. Those in the
  present considered themselves as stewards of resources
  for future generations.
• Concept of time is not fixed and is subject to constant
  amendment and modification. There is a constant move in
  between past and present. The cycle of traditions about
  the people, land, and events is dynamic and fluid.
• A way of describing how they see time is like a thread in
  something woven, it starts, stops, interacts with other
  threads in the woven material, and can be picked up again
  later. All of it complements each other to help build
  something large and tangible.
       Māori View of Space
• Māori people tend to use minimal eye contact as it is a
  form of respect in their culture. It shows that the
  individual has respect for other peoples individual or
  personal space in formal situations. This is said to be
  very important when individuals are visiting another
  individual‟s home.
• Māori people also think that invading the space of
  ones head by stepping over it, is rude and they feel as
  though the individual who stepped over the other
  individuals head is invading or taking over their power,
  showing them no respect. It is bad for their mana
  (personal authority/power).
• Therefore personal space in the Māori people is very
  important and even though it may not be that way in
  our culture, it is very important to consider it when
  interacting with the Māori people.
        Features of the Māori People
                          A prominent feature of Māori culture are the striking
                          tattoos that were worn. Full faced tattoos or moko,
                          amongst the Māori tribes was predominantly a male
                          Female forms of moko were restricted to the chin
                          area, the upper lip, and the nostrils.
Ta Moko represents a history of a person's achievements and represented their
status in their tribe. It was like a resumé. It also served as a reminder to people
about their responsibility in life. It was a huge honour for people to have Ta
There were no set patterns to the Ta Moko and the meaning of the Ta Moko
was dependent on its placement on the face. The left side of the face related to
the father's history and the right side to the mother's history.
Occasionally women would put small markings over their faces or shoulders as
a sign that someone close to them had died.
Origin of Ta Moko
     Originally, Ta Moko was chiseled into the
     skin using an albatross bone. The
     pigmentations used were Carui gum and
     dye from other vegetation that was
     rendered to a soot and then mixed with oil.
     Each tribal area used different pigments.
                    Traditional Dress
• The Māori made their clothes out of flax. Both Māori men and women
  wore much the same sort of clothes.
• Men wore a type of kilt around their waists the Māori, secured by a
  belt. Over their shoulders they threw a rectangular-shaped cape. Men
  wore their hair long. It was tied into, a knot on the top of the head and
  adorned with feathers or with a comb of bone or wood.
• Women and girls sometimes added a kind of apron round their waist.
  Women, cut their hair short.
• Both sexes wore neck or ear pendants of greenstone, human or
  shark‟s teeth, and bunches of feathers.
• Children usually did without any clothing until they were about ten
  years old.
• A headband kept feathers in place for dress occasions.
• Sandals covered the feet only as a protection against the cold or when
  walking over rough stony places.
Traditional Dress
       The Haka/ Traditional Dance
• To most people, the haka is perceived as a war dance. The haka is
  performed as a pre-battle challenge to opposition.
• The word haka simply means a dance, or a song accompanied by dance.
  The terms do not do justice to the life force, the actions, words, rhythm,
  themes, meaning, style or history that are the haka.
• In early contact times, the haka was used as a part of the formal process
  when two parties came together. There was a challenge from the tangata
  whenua or tribe in their own territory, followed by a response from the
  manuhiri or visiting party.The encounter concluded with a tangata
  whenua performing a haka peruperu. The visitors would then respond
  with their own haka. Following speeches by both parties, they each
  moved together to hongi, the traditional greeting of pressing noses.
• It is now mostly reserved for special occasions such as visits by senior
  dignitaries. The principles that underpin the traditional rituals are still
  retained in a modern form.
Traditional Dance
             Māori Religious Views
• The Māori believe that in the beginning, man began through an
offering by their god Tane, in which all mankind was offered three
baskets of knowledge called Nga Kete-o-te-Wananga. Within these
baskets were the stories of creation, instructions concerning magic,
and so on.
• The Māori believe that all living things are descended from the
gods, embodied within certain mountains, rivers and lakes. All
things have a type of soul in which they label the Wairua.
• Most things contain mana - spiritual essence. Mana is within man
himself, land, nature, and also man-made objects. Contact with
mana contained objects or beings by non-authorized persons or
objects could cause the mana to be drained away.
• Extremely strict rules of tapu protected ceremonial objects, much
filled with mana.
       Beginning of Creation
• The Māori people are polytheistic because they worship
multiple gods although they believe in one supreme god that
controls all the other gods. They call this god Io.
• The power of Io moved amongst the elements of chaos, and
from chaos came eons of darkness, from which light was
emitted. From these forms of energy, light and darkness,
evolved Ranginui (Sky Father) and Papatūānuku (Earth
• The power of the real God is manifested as sound, celestial
music, so He is said to have sung the Creation into
• Ranginui lay with Papatuānuku and their children became
the gods of this world. When they were released, they were
responsible for the creation of the universe: the planets,
stars, the sun, and every living thing on the earth, including
                  Māori Gods
The children of Ranginui and Papatuānuku were:
• Tangaroa, god of the sea, lakes and rivers with dominion
over all the creatures that live in them. Tangaroa
possesses several gifts, chief of this being the art of
• Tāne, the god of forests and its inhabitants, especially the
• Tāwhirimātea, god of the winds, storms and tempest.
• Rongomatāne, the god of kumara and all cultivated
foods. He is also the god of peace.
• Haumia, god of fernroot and nutritious wild herbs.
• Rūaumoko, god of volcanoes and earthquakes.
• Tūmatauenga, god of man and war.
• Whiro, god of evil.
              Māori God Tangaroa
• Tangaroa is the sea god who separated the sky from the earth. He is a
  son the earth-goddess Papatūānuku, who had so much water in her
  body that it swelled one day and burst forth, becoming the ocean.
• He may appear as a huge fish giving birth to all the sea creatures,
  including mermen and mermaids. From the latter sprang humanity,
  according to certain myths, so people are really fish who have lost their
  fish-like appearance.
• Others say also that human beings were once aquatic, hence their
  hairlessness. Tangaroa changes regularly into a green lizard, signifying
  fine weather.
• He only needs to breath once in 24 hours, so huge is he (this breathing
  explains the tidal movement).
                Māori God Whiro
• Whiro is the lizard-god of the dead, evil and darkness. He lives in
  the dark misty underworld and is accompanied by a group of evil
• He inspires evil thoughts in the minds of people.
• Maori gods were sometimes represented by carved
  godsticks bound with cord.
• A godstick was frequently used in the ritual acts
  sanctifying the planting, tending and harvesting of
  sweet potato.
• In New Zealand, however, tiki (full name is hei-tiki) is usually applied to
  the human figure carved in pounamu (greenstone, a stone similar to jade)
  as a neck ornament, but can be made from whale bone or teeth.
• They are highly valued treasures to their owners. Some individual tiki
  have names and traditional histories extending well back into the past.
• Tiki are worn around the neck - the hei part of the name carries this
• Significance of these ornaments has been lost, however it has been
  suggested that this ornament is a fertility charm representing the human
  embryo, and that it should be worn only by women yet early European
  visitors saw men wearing the hei-tiki and it is probable that the squat
  shape of the figure was influenced by the hardness of the material and
  that it was later likened to an embryo.
               Tikis Continued
• Suspension is usually vertical but some are suspended on
  their side.
• There is some variety in the forms of tiki but this variation has
  not been very fully studied in relation to region of origin. The
  head inclined left or right appears to have no particular
  significance. One clear variation is between tiki with the head
  upright and those with the head tilted sideways. The likely
  explanation for the latter form is that it comes naturally from
  the use of rectangular adze blades as raw material. Other
  variations occur in the positions of the arms. In some the
  arms are asymmetric with one arm on the torso rather than
  the legs, or up to the mouth.
• The Marae is absolutely central to the Maori way of life.
• It is a focal point for groups who share kinship. Here they can meet
  to discuss and debate, to celebrate, to welcome the living and bid
  farewell to those that have passed on.
• It is the open space and buildings in a settlement or pa (fortified
  settlement) where the community gathered.
• There are over one thousand Marae throughout Aotearoa in rural
  areas and in cities.
• Usually facing the principal entrance to the Marae is the Whare. The
  Whare is nearly always situated, as in the past, between the Marae and
  the gateway.
• The Whare may be referred to in a number of ways : the whare tipuna
  or whare tupuna, (ancestral house) whare whakairo (carved house),
  whare nui (large house), whare hui (meeting house), whare moe or
  whare puni (sleeping house) or whare runanga (council house).
• The whare is used for funerals, religious meetings, or entertaining
• No members of the local tribal community live permanently in a whare.
• Apart from rare exceptions, the whare is nearly always named after an
• The Whare is usually symbolically designed to represent the chief and
  embody his ancestors.
                  Whare Continued
• Outside, in front of the whare and at its top is a tekoteko, or carved
  figure, which is placed on the roof and at the entrance to the whare. The
  tekoteko represents the ancestor's head.
• The maihi or carved parts of the tekoteko, which slope downwards from
  the whare, represent the ancestor's arms- held out as a welcome to
• The pole which runs down the centre of the whare from front to back
  represents the ancestor's backbone. This is a very solid piece of wood
  which is used. If the backbone is strong, the body is strong.
• The rafters from the carved figures on the inside of the whare represent
  the ribs of the ancestor.
• The smaller and larger Koruru carvings may be seen on the outside of
  the whare. The protruding tongue often seen is in defiance of the enemy.
  The glittering eyes of the Koruru are paua shells (abalone shellfish). The
  eyes of the Koruru represent the Ruru, the Maori name for the New
  Zealand native owl, a fierce fighter bird.
  The Meaning of Food
Kai (food) has always been an important part of the
Māori way of life.
Kai connects men and women to:
        • the spiritual realm through the gods
        • the earth, and all the elements including
        the sun.
        • the "other" men and women, as it is
        grown, harvested, traded, and eventually
        • themselves as it sustains and nurtures.
Specialized knowledge and skills surround all
aspects of Kai. The holders of that knowledge were
not only revered but were charged with the
responsibility of passing that knowledge and skill on
to others.
          Cookery and Preparation
• Before the arrival of Pakeha (fair skinned people), Māori had no metal or
  ceramic cooking vessels.
• Methods of cooking were severely limited and the only containers to hold
  liquid were Hue (gourds), wooden bowls, or vessels made from stone.
• Māori understood the perfection of wet steam & smoke and could roast
  and bake in the open fire or hot ashes.
• Their diet was light on protein and included no grain-food products as a
  carbohydrate base for cooking.
        Cookery and Preparation
• Food is often cooked in a hole dug in the ground, in a traditional
  style known as a Hangi (earth oven).
• With this method, the food is placed on hot stones that have been
  heated in a fire and are covered in cabbage leaves or watercress to
  stop the food from burning.
• Mutton, pork, chicken, potatoes, and Kumera (a sweet potato) are
  then lowered into the pit in a basket. The food is covered with
  Mutton cloth and flax.
• Finally earth is placed on top to keep in the steam. The food takes
  about 3 hours to cook.
Hangi Pictures
        Evolution of Preparation
• Māori were very highly skilled in the art of hunting, fishing, gathering,
and cultivation, and possessed great ingenuity in creating Hakari
(Banquets) from limited cooking resources.
• With the introduction of foreign foods and cooking equipment, Māori
were quick to adapt to the ever changing needs of every day living;
taking into consideration the wisdom to cherish and retain many foods
and culinary methods of the past.
• Yet within these limitations their cuisine was wide ranging, nutritious,
and appetizing. When the Pakeha introduced different foods and
equipment, Māori were quick to grasp their advantage.
• During the colonial era, Māori learned to use European foods and
methods, and to adapt them to their own tastes.
• But at the same time retaining many of their favorite early methods
such as smoking, drying, and steaming.
       Significant Foods and Herbs
• Māori people gathered food from the forest, stream, sea, and garden.
• Their diet was traditionally birds and fish together with gathered wild herbs
and roots. Gardens grew root crops including potato and kumara.
• Māori herbs are used that are mixed with traditional herbs and indigenous
foods into contemporary cuisine.
• This includes delicacies such as kuku patties (made with distinctive green
mussels), puha greens or salmon flavoured manuka (New Zealand tea tree)
honey, kelp and horopito leaves.
• Māori potatoes of the taewa tutaekuri variety are unusual purple potatoes
which were among the winners of the Slow Food 2000 awards that
promotes the preservation of biodiversity.
        Significant Foods and Herbs
• Rewena pararoa (Māori bread), is potato bread which is sold at weekend
markets and some specialty bread shops.
• On Stewart Island, Māori continue to harvest the mutton bird. The bird has
a very distinct flavor and is an acquired taste.
• Eel and puha (green leafy vegetables grown in streams) are also foods
that are traditionally gathered by Māori.
•Tohu wines- the first indigenous branded wine to be produced for the
export market. The wine is harvested from the regions of Marlborough and
                Māori and Health
• Health is not a universal concept nor are health professionals
necessarily best suited to formulate the health aspirations of a people.
Like other fundamental objectives, health is defined for Māori people by
their elders, at traditional tribal gatherings.
• Māori culture has a "whole person" view on how to look after your
self. This means that paying attention to all of the key aspects of your
life is important. This includes caring for soul, body, mind and whanau
(family). Each of these is really important and balance is achieved
when each dimension is in order. Its best explained using Te Tapa Wha
model (Wellness Model):
    • Te Taha Wairua (a spiritual dimension)
    • Te Taha Hinengaro (a psychic dimension)
    • Te Taha Tinana (a bodily dimension)
    • Te Taha Whanau (a family dimension)
       Te Taha Wairua/ Spirituality
• Acknowledged to be the most essential requirement for health.
• It means acknowledging who a person is, what they believe in, where
they come from, and may be achieved in the form of Karakia or prayer.
• It is believed that without a spiritual awareness an individual can be
considered to be lacking in wellbeing and more prone to ill health.
• It may also explore relationships with the environment, between
people, or with heritage. The breakdown of this relationship could be
seen in terms of ill health or lack of personal identity.
• When confronted with a problem Māori do not seek to analyze its
separate components or parts but ask in what larger context it resides,
incorporating ancestors or future generations to discussions. This may
mean the discussion goes off on a tangent but the flow will return to the
     Te Taha Hinengaro/ Psychic
• Thoughts, feelings and behaviour are vital to health in Te Ao
Māori (the Māori world).
• Māori may be more impressed with unspoken signals, eye
movement, bland expressions, and in some cases regard words
as superfluous, even demeaning.
• Māori thinking can be can be described as being holistic.
Understanding occurs less by dividing things into smaller and
smaller parts.
• Healthy thinking for a Māori person is about relationships. The
individual whose first thought is about putting themselves, their
personal ambitions and their needs first, without recognizing the
impact that it may have on others is considered unhealthy.
• Communication through emotions is important and more
meaningful than the exchange of words and is valued just as
much, for example, if Māori show what they feel, instead of
talking about their feelings, this is regarded as healthy.
     Te Taha Tinana/ Physical
• The most familiar component to all of us. The Māori consider
the body and things associated with it as tapu (sacred/special).
• There is a clear separation between sacred and common. For
instance the head is regarded as tapu and the Māori do not pat
each other on the head, nor should food be anywhere near a
persons head. When this happens it can be perceived as
unhealthy. Hairbrushes should not be placed on tables nor
should hats.
• Food is kept away from the body and so are utensils. A
common thing that is observed in Māori households is that tea-
towels are not placed in a washing machine but always washed
by hand. Kitchen sinks/tubs should not be used to wash
personal items either. When a laundry is in close proximity to
the kitchen this can pose problems as well.
• It is important to take into consideration the view of personal
space as previously discussed.
      Te Taha Whanau/ Family
• The prime support system providing care, not only physically but also
culturally and emotionally. For the Māori, whanau is about extended
relationships rather than the western nuclear family concept.
• Maintaining family relationships is an important part of life and caring
for young and old alike is paramount. Everyone has a place and a role
to fulfill within their own whanau.
• Families contribute to a person's wellbeing and most importantly a
person's identity. A Māori viewpoint of identity of identity derives much
from family characteristics. It is important to understand that a person
carrying an ancestral name will often be seen as having the qualities of
their namesake.
• It is important to be aware for Māori, a persons identity is gleaned by
asking "Where are you from" rather than "What is your name?" Māori
identity is based upon an ancestral Waka (canoe) a physical landmark,
which is usually a Maunga (mountain), a body of water Awa (river),
Moana (sea) and a significant Tupuna (ancestor). Once this is known
people can share a common bond.
               Traditional Healers
The Māori traditional health care believe in the power of healers who have
had the traditional medicines, knowledge and healing passed on from
generation to generation.
There exist many healers which have shaped Māori view of health care.
These healers include:
• Papa Joe is an internationally renowned Indigenous Māori Healer. He
was brought into the world completely aware and already knowing the
pathway he was to walk. Being raised amongst his elders from birth,
Papa‟s great grandfather told his mother that the child she was carrying
was to teach the old traditions of healing, star journeying, using bush
medicine for healing and removal of negative entities from a persons‟
energy and so much more. The „old people‟ knew of his healing abilities
well before his birth as well as the extraordinary „infinite ancient Māori
knowledge‟ Papa‟s cellular memory would contain.
              TeAwhimate Tawhai
• He has worked as a Māori healer for many years and has been a
  student of Papa Joe since 1995.
• As part of his work TeAwhimate specializes in the preparation of
  traditional Māori herbal medicine and continues to prepare and
  provide these medicine to people who require them.
• TeAwhimate‟s work covers deep tissue massage, covering all
  aspects of the anatomy as well as counseling. He has incredible
  insight & intuition and a wicked sense of humor. He also covers
  ground and house clearing.
• The philosophy that he works under is,
  “Acknowledging my connection to my ancestors accentuates and
  affirms the teachings and ethnical values by which I live.
  My ancestral beginnings formulate my present being, encompassing
  the understandings of yesteryear and nurturing the holistic wellbeing
  of tomorrow”.
                  Health Care
Any wide scale intervention aimed at promoting health among Māori
people must involve elders and may need to accept alternate goals
and methods, relevant to current Māori thinking, though possibly
peripheral to established Western health concerns.
         Death and Dying Beliefs
• On death, the Maori believe that the spirit travels to the pohutukawa
  tree which sits on the very tip of Cape Reinga, at the top of the North
  Island - as far anybody may go in New Zealand.
• The spirit then slides down a root of the pohutdukawa, after
  removing his or her clothes, to the sea below. This is called
  Rerenga-wairua (spirit's-leap).
• The spirit emerges onto Ohaua, which is the highest tip of the Three
  Kings Islands, for a final farewell before greeting the ancestors. The
  spirit waits for a break in the seaweed in the ocean and then jumps
• The spirit is called and welcomed by his/her ancestors, and eats the
  food of the dead and can never return to the realm of the living.
       Maori Beliefs About Death
• When a Maori is near his/her death, he/she may be heard to say: “---
  is calling me,” mentioning the name of an ancestor because the
  spirits of his/her forbears are calling to him/her to join them in the
  spirit world.
• When very near his/her end cries of farewell might be heard from
  the assembled folk, sending off the dying person to the spirit world.
• If possible a Maori prefers to die out of doors, that he/she may see
  the world one last time.
                       Funeral Rites
• When someone dies, the first task after the death of a person is to wrap
  the body and bind it to a stake to keep it in a sitting position.
• A special funerary cloak is secured around it and the face was painted
  with a preparation of red ochre and oil. The hair is oiled, dressed and
  adorned with feathers. Weapons of the deceased and any special
  articles he might have possessed are placed beside the body.
• The body was then placed in a sitting position in the porch of the
  principal house of the village with its face towards the sun as it rises
  from its cave. The house is intensely tapu so long as the body remained
• The lying in state continued for days. Eventually the body was taken
  away and buried, which was often performed at night. Cremation was
  not unheard, however, during times of war and a speedy disposal was
• The clothes of the deceased are placed in a carved chest which is
  preserved by the family and descendants as a sacred relic.
    Funeral Rites Continued
• If a man died, his canoe would be rendered tapu and would
  be cut in half. One of these halves would be decorated as
  described above and set up in a vertical position, the wide
  end embedded in the earth. These memorials, were
  erected within the limits of the fortified villages.
• The urupa (graveyard) is generally within the Marae
  complex, and this area is particularly tapu. When leaving
  the urupa, the tapu may be removed by washing the hands
  in water. For this purpose, a water container may often be
  found just outside the gate of the urupa.
• The carved figures along the inside walls of the whare
  represent ancestors of the local marae people, as well as
  those of other tribes.
• In earlier times, the head of a loved chief or warrior leader
  would be removed and preserved, in order to always be
  with the bereaving family and tribe.
• When a person dies, the village comes to lament, the women in front
  and the men behind them. Their clothes typically wrapped about their
  waists. Close relatives also cut their hair.
• The potae taua, or mourning cap, was also worn. It was crownless,
  composed of a fillet or band to encircle the head from which were
  suspended strings of seaweed, some fibrous plant or the tail feathers of
  a bird.
Mourning Continued
   • The close relatives of a dead person are said
     to be in the “house of mourning” during the
     period of mourning. It is not a physical
     house, but a metaphorical one.
   • During the first days of mourning relatives
     are not supposed to eat food during the day.
     Not until the abolition of the tapu of the
     “house of mourning” will they eat. That
     function was formerly marked by a rite
     performed over the mourners at a stream, in
     which their grief and mournful longing for the
     dead were horoia atu, or effaced.
                        After Burial
• Persons who handled bodies of the dead were extremely tapu, and
  that tapu had to be lifted from that burial party on its return to the
  village home.
• This rite was performed in water, in which the tapu persons had to
  immerse their naked bodies.The officiating priest intoned the
  necessary ritual to remove all restrictions.
• A funeral feast followed this performance, and some special and
  tapu food, termed popoa, was consumed by the ariki and tohunga of
  the community.
• Food was sometimes offered to a dead person prior to the burial. A
  priest would put it to the mouth of the corpse and withdraw it, or
  simply wave it towards his mouth. The ahua, or semblance, of the
  food was supposed to be consumed by the deceased.
• A part of the tapu lifting ceremony described above was the
  ceremonial cutting of the hair of the chief mourner.