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First World War: Maori soldiers' letters and/or diaries
I am about to embark on a research project for my Masters of Arts in History, examining the involvement of our tipuna in the First World War. As part of this project, I am interested in hearing from those who are the kaitiaki of Maori soldiers' letters or diaries, and who are willing to share them (or discuss them) with me. I am also interested in hearing from whanau who may wish to share nga tahuhu korero (the histories) about their tipuna, which have been passed down within their whanau.
Nga mihi, na Franchesca
Kia ora Franshesca,
Well as the kakawahanui I am going to ask the questions that probably alot of whanau here have been thinking but are not game enough to ask! 😀
What are you going to do with the info? Who will own it? Is this a grab to get hold of our taonga to better yourself so you can get a degree? Will it be part of your thesis and what about our rights?
No hea koe? Ko wai to whanau?
I think you need to give a bit of info about you - asking people to share this kind of info without sharing about yourself will probably not result in much sharing! 😉
Kia ora e hoa,
Thank you for your response, and your patai! I'll try and answer them all, but feel free to push me further if you don't think I've expanded upon them enough.
Ko wai au?
Ko Takitimu te waka
Ko Moumoukai te maunga
Ko Nuhaka te awa
Ko Ngati Kahungunu te iwi
Ko Rakaipaaka, ko Ngati Pahauwera nga hapu
Ko Walker te whanau.
Kei te Roopu Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi au e mahi ana; he tumu korero au.
In English: I affiliate to Rakaipaaka and Ngati Pahauwera (Ngati Kahungunu). I am a Walker, which is derived from George Walker, a Scotsman who married Ema Whakamoraro in the mid-1800s. I currently work as a historian at the Waitangi Tribunal.
Any information that whanau wish to share may be integrated into a written Masters thesis (approximately 40,000 words). The work will be guided by kaupapa Maori theory, which means that those who wish to teach me what they know will be able to control the process and any information they may share. It is my intention that this thesis will be a collaborative undertaking - I hope whanau will direct the process, read the thesis drafts and veto anything that they object to. I would not include any information that may undermine their rangatiratanga.
I can't undertake this research without the support of those who are the kaitiaki of information as there is almost no written trace of Maori soldiers in the public sphere. So it ultimately is the kaitiaki that will decide whether or not this research goes ahead, and not me!
This research is not an attempt to grab taonga for personal benefit; I truly believe that Maori participation in WWI is an undervalued area of the history of Aotearoa and one that is overlooked in favour of WWII. At the end of the day, it is unlikely that those who teach me what they know will gain any direct benefit from this research as they already have an appreciation of the contribution of their tipuna. But there are many throughout the motu that have no idea about the experiences or involvement of their tipuna because of the type of work undertaken by the Maori Contingent and Pioneer Battalion, and relatively small number of Maori that participated in comparison to WWII. I want to ensure that these people have a source that will explain the experiences of Maori soldiers in WWI.
Please, if anyone has any doubts or questions or thoughts, send them my way. I understand that I am asking people to share their taonga with me, so please raise anything that you like. Anything is better than silence! E ki ana te whakatauki: ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.
Nga mihi ki a koutou.
Kia ora for that Franchesca!
[quote]Anything is better than silence![/quote]
Ha! Can't be a kakawahanui if I'm silent 😀
Sadly we do not have any korero about our whanau being in WW1 so I will not be able to awhi you - after your reply I would willingly awhi if I could!
And I wish you luck with your project 😀