Otago Polytechnic

Adrian Woodhouse challenges us to let indigenous forms of knowledge speak for themselves, rather than making their messages explicit. 

Kua takotoria te manuka e Adrian Woodhouse kia kōrerohia kā mātauraka taketake mō rātou anō, hei aha te āta whakahuataka.

As human beings, storytelling is fundamental to our very existence. The telling of our stories is our personal enactment of the realities of our worlds through a form of shared communication. Whether it be viewing rock paintings on a cave wall, reciting whakapapa on the marae or reading stories in a journal article, it has been the endeavour of the human existence to translate to others what it is that we know to exist within the workings of our minds. 

For Māori, pūrākau is a traditional form of implicit and metaphorical storytelling which has recently been reconceptualised by indigenous academics as a form of cultural identity reclamation within the kaupapa Māori research movement. It is also politically situated within the wider indigenous retaliation to the western hegemonic constructs of scientific research and its associated ideologies of imperialism and colonialism. For many Māori, adopting pūrākau as a research practice is part of the process of “decolonisation” and identity reclamations because storytelling has always been one of their key tenets of knowledge creation and retention. 

Traditionally, pūrākau was the symbolic form of storytelling within the visual arts such as wood and bone carving, and weaving in the form of tukutuku panels. Within these visual representations, it was typical to embed stories of whakapapa, as well as the ethical and moral lessons for living a healthy and spiritually fulfilled life. It is through the conceptualisation and creation of the written story, that the Māori storyteller applies their mātauranga (wisdom and knowledge) through the crafting of the implicit and metaphorical pūrākau. As a reader of a pūrākau story, you are in fact in search of the messages which exist deeper within the work. Like all forms of storytelling, you will interpret different messages within the story. depending on your understanding of the storytelling medium. 

 


 

Hei takata, he tino kaupapa te kōrero paki ki te tauoraka. Ko te kōrero paki te whakatinanataka o te ao mā te whakawhitiwhiti whakakaaro. Arā, ko ētahi waituhi ki tētahi pakitara ana, ko te whakapapatia ki te marae, ko te pānui atikara hautaka; kua ngana o te takata kia whakahuatia kā mātauraka ā-roto ki ētahi atu.

Ki te iwi Māori, ko te pūrākau tētahi momo kōrero paki o neherā, ā, kua auahatia anōtia hei taumanu i te tuakiri i kā mahi rakahau kaupapa Māori. E tū tōrakapū hoki ana ki roto i kā mahi taketake whānu hei whakaea, hei utu i kā rakahau Pākehā, i kā whakaaro whakatuanui a te karauna. Ki te tokomaha o kāi Māori, he momo pureka ihomatua, ka taumanu hoki i te tuakiri te whakamahika i te pūrākau hei tukaka rakahau, nā te mea, ko te kōrero paki tētahi ariā hei hanga, hei pupuri hoki i te mātauraka.

I kā wā o mua, ko te pūrākau te tohu kōrero paki ki roto i kā mahi toi, arā, i te whakairo, i te raraka i kā tukutuku hoki. I roto i ēnei whakaataka ā-tinana, i whakararau i kā whakapapa, i kā whakaakoraka matatika kia ora pai. Mā te auahataka o te pūrākau ā-tuhi e whakahākai i te mātāuraka. Hei kaipānui o te pūrākau, ka rapu koe i kā karere ki roto pū i te mahi. Pērā i kā kōrero paki rerekē, he whakamāramataka rerekē ki ia takata, kei te āhua tonu o tō māramataka i tērā momo kōrero paki.

 

Links

MĀORI & INDIGENEITY  Te rakahau Māori me te rakahau taketake

March 2020