Bulibasha - Intro to Maori Context


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An introduction to the Maori context of "Bulibasha" by Witi Ihimaera, including key Maori vocabulary

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Bulibasha - Intro to Maori Context

  1. 1. BulibashaThe Maori People
  2. 2. New Zealand: The Beginning• New Zealand was the last country to be populated by human beings• The first Maori settlers arrived sometime between 1100 and 1200 AD• At this time, Islam had spread across Northern Africa, Christians were making their first attacks on Jerusalem, and North American Natives had already been living off the land for hundreds of years.
  3. 3. Timeline• 1835 – Maori Declaration of Independence• 1840 – Treaty of Waitangi: marks the beginning of British Sovereignty• 1840 – first New Zealand company settlers arrive• 1844 – Private land purchases allowed• 1846 – Surplus Maori land confiscated• 1860 – New Zealand land wars begin: Maori fight back• 1865 – Native Land Court established: made it easier for Maori to sell land to settlers What happens to a warrior society without land?
  4. 4. Timeline• 1953 – Maori Affairs Act: land that could be proved was being unused could be claimed and governed by trustees (often local Iwi but sometimes not)• 1987 – Landmark court case: Maori Council vs. Attorney General, verdict was that Maori could lay claim to surplus crown land• 1992 – First Treaty Settlements signed: Maori tribes given financial settlements to purchase large companies and invest in their own enterprisesSource: www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/treaty/waitangi-day Whose land is it?
  5. 5. Maori Warrior Culture• It is true that Maori did not have a written language before European settlers arrived• However, they did have a complex and ancient oral tradition of mythology, legend, and scientific loreThis is a Tekoteko, a carving adorning a MaraeIt represents both a welcome and a challenge to visiting friends and foes
  6. 6. Maori Warrior Culture• Whakapapa: – Maori geneology – Marae feature carvings that tell the story of a family history going back to the times of myth and legend – Famous warriors feature prominently in Marae carvings A pounamu mere
  7. 7. Maori Warrior Culture • Maori craftspeople put great care and attention into all of their works • Weapons especially were great treasures and much time was spent on their decoration A carved taiaha or spear
  8. 8. Maori Warrior Culture• Every object was made into a taonga, or treasure• Substances like wood, whale bone, or pounamu (jade, greenstone) were turned into works of great beautyA wooden mere with ornamental carvings
  9. 9. Maori Warrior Culture • Waka were intricately carved works of art • They bestowed mana, or prestige, honour upon the tribes that owned them • The waka was transportation for war The carved bow of a waka
  10. 10. Some Maori Concepts• Marae: – A meeting house – Centre of the community – Complex carvings tell the genealogy and history of the family or tribe who owns the marae
  11. 11. Whanau • The idea of family • Often includes extended family, ie. First and second cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. • Can be extended to refer to a wide variety of people, such as great friends, colleagues, etc.
  12. 12. Maori Religion• Maori were converted to Christianity quite quickly• Christmas Day, 1814 – first Christian service• Treaty of Waitangi, 1842• Christian faith is about love for others, forgiveness• Ratana faith, Mormonism – all had large Maori populations• In recent years, traditional Maori culture is being revived
  13. 13. Bulibasha• This novel is about power in families and what it means to grow up• It is also about modernity:• How do warriors get along in modern NZ culture?• How do families need to act to be strong in modern NZ culture?