Jacob, J., Nikora, L.W. & Ritchie, J. (2011). Maori children and death: Views from parents. Pre-publication draft of an article prepared for the Australian Community Psychologist.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5941
Research about Maori children's experiences and perceptions of death and tangi (Maori death rituals) is sparse. What is available tends to be generalised and stems from Western paradigms of knowledge. In this study we explore Maori children's experiences of death and tangi through the eyes of Maori parents. Through semi-structured interviews with 17 Maori parents, five areas were explored: a) the childhood experiences of parents and how they learned about death and an afterlife; b) what their adult beliefs about these matters are; c) how they have communicated the death concept to their children; and d) whether their children are likely to do the same in the future. From this study we learn that death was not hidden from children, that parents talked with their children in very open and age relevant ways, and considered their children's participation in tangi an important way to grieve and ensure continuity with kinship networks and support. This study suggests that the challenge now is to ensure that these practices continue to persist between parents and their children, and future generations.
© Copyright 2011 The Authors.