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Historical question of Maori cultur  

papajoe OWC
New Member

Kia ora everybody. I am not sure if you can help with some historical traditions about Maori or the indigenous people of the land. I am translating parts of the book “ a history of New Zealand” from Michael King. So there are some superficial explanations which are not easily to translate. Thereby it is clear that not all tribes can be put together, but it refers to some common features of Maori life.
I give you a range of doubts as follows:

1a) What kind of portraits were included in the meeting house?
1b) When did the Maori include carvings of the deceased in the meeting houses?
1b)Were these portraits in meeting houses just carvings or also (by approx. the 1890s) photographs and paintings?
1c)And have they portraited only the deceased of “upper class” (rangatira) families in the meeting houses?

2.) What kind of houses were quite usual before the beginning of European influence in the 1860s?
2a) Did exists round house?
2a) Did traditional Maori houses have verandahs?

3) Why does Ratana wanted to promote the Treaty of Waitangi?

4) Where were the tribes (tuhoe, tainui, mutaatua, te arawa) commonly situated?

It would be nice if I can get some answers in decent time. Hope you have good weather and enjoying the summer. Wish u the best

P.S. I am translating into german and chose a text about the Maori, cause when I was in New Zealand I got to know some Maori from Wairoa and from East Cape. Some Maori picked me up (when was hitchhiking) and I was living with them for some days. It was so friendly so I wanted to know much more about the culture. For my University now its part of my project to translate some 20 pages of this book mentioned above.

Edited by - papajoe on Dec 21 2006 10:49:30 PM

Posted : 21 December, 2006 6:55 am
Trusted Member

Theres quite a few patai there! Lol

Um i think its not that easy to explain. Maybe each iwi to their own would be best speaking the traditions of their papakainga

Posted : 21 December, 2006 9:09 am
matahuru OWC
Eminent Member

True that taiga

I am also curious as to what language you are translating it to?

As I am tainui/tuhoe, I can speak for both, however only on the issues I have knowledge about, the rest I will leave to those more learned in that area.

1a) Only photos of the deceased are put in the whare tupuna. Now at my marae in tainui, and this by no means says that all tainui marae do it, only noble elders photos hang inside. Yet at my marae in Tuhoe, all persons that whakapapa to that marae are displayed in the whare tupuna, babys, kids, adults and elders.

1b) Most Maori have always had carvings of the deceased in their Whare tupuna as the whare represents an common ancestor, and by definition a person must be deceased to be an ancestor. Now some can include, the lesser gods like tane, tangaroa etc but that depends on the location and purpose of the whare.

1b) Dunno wasnt there.

1c) Already answered that one

2)At my papakainga the Raupo whare was the norm. Raupo is a native plant. It was used to construct walls by binding the stalks together in bundles and then tying them again to the frame. The framing was manuka or matai and to my knowledge these homes were very strong and warm.

2a) A couple of years ago I was told by a tohunga friend of mine that he had been shown a round house in Te Kuiti that had been built around the time of tainui's arrival here. It was a whare wananga or sacred place of learning and according to him, quite large. He was told that Hoturoa himself oversaw the construction of this whare and up until recently still stood. Unfortunately the caretaker told my friend that they were pulling it down as development projects were getting to close for her liking and up until then the place was secret, known only to a few. so in answer to your question, as far as I know there was 1 round house before europeans arrived.

2a) Not in the european sense although we have something similar called a mahau which is used for funerals. The body of the deceased is sometimes placed there so visitors can pay their respects out side of the whare.

3)I have no idea yet I would guess the same reason we all do, justice!

4) Tainui's traditional home is Kawhia. Thats where we arrived and settled. Tuhoe landed in whakatane but settled that whole area around there, Upokorehe, Ruatuna, Taneatua, Waimana etc.

Posted : 21 December, 2006 9:57 am