Kūkū te kererū, ketekete te kākā: The role of literature in indigenous methods of naming native and introduced birds to Aotearoa New Zealand
Raharuhi, T. U. (2015). Kūkū te kererū, ketekete te kākā: The role of literature in indigenous methods of naming native and introduced birds to Aotearoa New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9616
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/9616
This thesis describes the role of academic literature in indigenous epistemology with a focus on indigenous methods of naming native and introduced birds to Aotearoa New Zealand. The story of the role of academic literature in mātauranga Māori transmission presented in this thesis, describes a narrative of indigenous people being increasingly excluded from transmission of mātauranga Māori in literature production. Importantly the exclusion of original sources from participation in literature production and revision resulted in a high degree of persistent error in academic literature presenting oral narratives and te reo Māori bird names. Currently, te reo Māori names of native and introduced birds are represented in English language academic literature, as subject matter or topic of interest predominately within a scientific research paradigm, in the fields of linguistics, ornithology, ethnology or disciplines where these are combined such as ethno-ornithology or folk-taxonomy. Research inquiry conducted in this study is influenced by a potential to explore indigenous methods of naming in terms of what they reveal about our ways of being (ontology) and our ways of knowing (epistemology). This thesis presents two literature reviews and the findings of seven semi-structured interviews to explore the complexities of the role of academic literature in indigenous epistemology with a focus on indigenous methods of naming native and indigenous birds to Aotearoa New Zealand. Exploring indigenous methods of naming in this way provides an opportunity to tease out the influence of translation, Western scientific paradigms and the medium of academic literature on the transmission of mātauranga Māori as well as identify opportunities and limitations for indigenous epistemology offered through the medium of academic literature. A comprehensive index of te reo Māori bird names with attention to the variety of linguistic nuances of geographically specific vernacular presented consistently in the context of indigenous methods of naming, potentially provides an accessible and meaningful taxonomic reference document. At the present time such an index has not been published. The findings of the research presented in this thesis support the potential of academic literature to meaningfully contribute to indigenous methods of naming when it records or facilitates direct participation of hapū in indigenous epistemology rather than predetermine or prematurely theorise indigenous methods of naming native and introduced birds to Aotearoa New Zealand. Equally, it presents findings to support potential for academic literature to contribute to mātauranga Māori when it articulates indigenous epistemology as a valuable way of knowing and does not assume to replace memory arts as the primary methods of mātauranga Māori transmission. Furthermore, the application of an indigenous paradigm to the production of literature about indigenous methods of naming as an aspect of mātauranga Māori has the potential to constitute an accurate and authentic body of knowledge.
University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses