Monday, March 14, 2011

To learn more...

In October of last year, The Hand Mirror was part of a debate about Te Papa and the tikanga they used for some taonga.

As a follow-up to that I wanted to draw attention to Kim's post The tapu of taonga and wāhine in a colonised land.

Her post discusses lots of different aspects of the collection itself, the tikanga, and the debate about it in the media and on blogs:

And this is the real issue, while Māori must understand a European worldview and law to survive in this land, colonisation has meant that very few people have any understanding of mātauranga Māori, or, in fact, of colonisation. Whenever an issue requires some understanding, whether it be the significance of te reo Māori, or kaitiakitanga, or whatever, the ignorance of most New Zealanders makes dialogue impossible. And thanks again to colonisation, this creates a problem not for those who are ignorant, but for Māori. Māori must repeatedly start from the beginning and attempt to explain their whole culture—this occurs in conversations, the media, court hearings, tribunal hearings. At some point, tauiwi need to take some responsibility for understanding the indigenous culture, and for understanding how their ignorance contributes to cultural imperialism, to Māori perspectives being marginalised and foreign in their own land.

I recommend reading the whole post.