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Māori Philosophies

  1. Māori Philosophies Excerpts from: “Māori Philosophy, Indigenous Thinking from Aotearoa” by Georgina Tuari Stewart, 2021
  2. Māori Philosophy “Bicultural policy has been used as a smokescreen for over 30 years to draw attention away from socioeconomic inequalities suffered by Māori”
  3. Māori identity “’Who’ in Māori is ‘ko wai’ suggesting ‘wai’ has a meaning related to ‘personal identity’ so waitahi (body) and wairua (spirit) can be rendered as ‘first part’ and ‘second part’ of the person”
  4. Māori identity “The existence of Māori as an Indigenous culture in Aotearoa New Zealand is erased from the accounts told by non-Māori that make up the national imaginary of the dominant culture”
  5. Māori identity “Māori traditions are structured by a corpus of originary and nature narratives that reflect the underlying concept of kinship between human beings and all the rest of the elements of the natural world in which we live”
  6. Māori identity “It becomes relevant to pluralise the discussions, since the stories vary from place to place. We might prefer to talk of Māori philosophies, then perhaps take the next step to tribal philosophies”
  7. Māori identity “The term Māori is a generalisation –an ethnicity rather than a tribe. Being Māori in 2020 is many different things, at different levels, to different people”
  8. Māori identity “The Māori identity adds to, rather than replacing, traditional tribal or kinship group identities. The identity label ‘Māori’ is a modern ethnicity [that] emerged post-contact with Europeans, while the iwi kin groups existed before contact”
  9. Māori identity “To identify as Māori is to stand up for cultural difference; to raise a small protest against the universalism and inhumanity of the contemporary global culture”
  10. Māori identity “To identify as Māori is to be aware of the extent to which Māori are problematised and demonised in the state apparatuses. Pākehā struggle to see, let alone understand, the Māori point of view. Pākehā [tend] to see Māori only in relation to their own interests”
  11. Māori identity “A constellation of mutually reinforcing ideas [myths], including that Māori were conquered in war, and as losers lost all rights; that Māori gave up their sovereignty in signing the Treaty of Waitangi; that Māori were not the first settlers of Aotearoa, so cannot claim rights as first peoples; that Māori are an inferior type of people with inferior intelligence, language, technology and culture’ and that only intermarriage with Pākehā had ‘saved’ Māori”
  12. Māori identity “Distorted versions of history, biology, and social science, mixed together with ignorance and arrogance, make a formidable basis for white privilege in Aotearoa New Zealand”
  13. Māori world “Māori people often report their experience as ‘living in two worlds’ and these worlds are named as te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā. Other pairs to express this are ‘te ao tawhito’ (ancient) and ‘te ao hurihuri’ or ‘te ao hōu’(new, changing)”
  14. Māori world “The question of authenticity: At one extreme is the view that only pre-European artefacts, practices and technologies can be considered ‘authentic’ or ‘real’ Māori culture. Such views were strongly articulated in earlier phases of colonial history, when Pākehā were motivated to announce the end of the Māori world”
  15. Māori world “In te reo Māori the phrase ‘i mua’ means ‘before’ in both senses: past time and in front of us. In Māori thinking, the past is before us because we can see it; we walk backwards into the future since we cannot look and see what it will bring”
  16. Māori world “I reason that Māori should embrace biculturalism, on our terms, as the logical alternative to the dominant monoculturalism”
  17. Māori knowledge “Whakapapa is the central concept in Māori culture and an organising principle in Māori philosophy. It translates as something like ‘layer- upon-layer’. The single word ‘whakapapa’ acts like a one- word synopsis, metonym and hologram of a complete Indigenous worldview”
  18. Māori knowledge “Whakapapa is the ethical basis of the celebrated Māori respect and love for nature. ‘Whakapapa kōrero’ found in Māori sayings and nature narratives are rich parables or teaching stories. To understand oneself as literally related to all the living and non-living elements of the natural world as common descendants of Rangi and Papa makes a coherent reason for taking care of nature, an ethos Māori Marsden defined as ‘kaitiakitanga’”
  19. Māori knowledge Key philosophical Māori concepts [are] impossible to fully understand and hence prone to distortion in the absence of an overall appreciation of the Indigenous Māori worldview.  Mana: power, authority, prestige  Tapu: sacred, set apart  Mauri: life principle, essence  Hau: spiritual force  Utu: balance  Whanaungatanga: kinship or relationship  Manaaki: practices that uphold mana  Aroha: to follow the breath, a deep comprehension of another’s point of view  Mātauranga: to know, appreciate, apprehend, understand  Mōhiotanga: knowledge acquired by familiarity  Wānanga: time and space for learning; to think deeply  Tohunga: expert qualified in a field
  20. Māori knowledge  Aro: to face, favour or attend to something, desire or inclination.  Whakaaro: to think, tought, plan, intention, consider, opinion  Hua: to think, know, be sure of  Whakahua: to pronounce, quote or articulate  Mahara: to think or remember, as well as intestines, memories.  Ako: teach or learn, made clear by the linguistic context  Three knowledge words:  Ariā: idea, concept, theory, hypothesis  Huatau: thought or to think, idea, opinion or realise, free flowing  Tautake: fulcrum or philosophy, that which is central or essential in an activity or situation
  21. Māori knowledge “The need for Māori philosophy as an inherently politically aware tradition and modification of, rather than a full replacement for, the standard scientific accounts of knowledge. My view of Māori philosophy is a liminal version of philosophy than inhabits the borders rather than the centre of institutional and academic philosophy: more interested in boundaries between, rather than separatist claims to, intellectual and real territory”
  22. Māori knowledge “To write this book is an act of scholarly protest and resistance against the sustained attack posed by colonisation on my philosophical rights to think Māori, to think as a Māori and to think with Māori cognitive resources”
  23. Māori knowledge “Māori material and symbolic territory has been taken over and brought under the Pākehā regimes of bureaucracy, legality and privatisation. Health, welfare and justice systems, aided by schools and other education institutions, control the lives of most Māori people today. Only that which lies beyond the reach of money cannot be alienated from Māori”