Whaikoorero: a study of formal Maori speech
Mahuta, R. T. K. (1974). Whaikoorero: a study of formal Maori speech (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11485
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11485
Whaikoorero is regarded as the traditionally valued mode of communication. It is the language of the marae, the language of the chiefs and elders, and the only acceptable form of public statement in the Maori world. At the same time it is an artistic form, difficult to master, and demanding long years of practice and experience. It is true, as I have pointed out, that one can read and listen to the myths and traditions of the Maori in books, on tapes, and through radio broadcasts. Yet it is the public rendering, the synthesising of myth and tradition, the living and the dead, and the interweaving of topical matters with the beliefs and values of the society, which hold the greatest interest for the Maori. For in whaikoorero history is relived, man reaffirmed, and status gained. The dead are recalled to participate with the living in social gatherings where tradition is orally transmitted, reaffirmed and relived. These then are some of the reasons why whaikoorero persists as a literary form and as a social feature within contemporary Maori society.
University of Auckland
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