Aituā: Death in a changing Māori World

Tangi is the ultimate form of Māori cultural and community expression. Addressing the dearth of scholarly information, this study considers tangi practice, whakapapa, changing environments, community values, sharing knowledge, ritual and what it means to be Māori.

The research team has been examining the life-values, beliefs and practices related to contemporary Māori experience of death, primarily through wānanga held two-three times a year. These wānanga involve a wide range of participants from different iwi affiliations, as well as a Pacific Island representative.

The team have also engaged with the “death sector” in their research. Associate Professor Linda Nikora says that the challenge of the topic means there have been difficult moments of discussion but as a process it has worked. 

This project is one of three in a Tangi Research programme led by the Principal Investigators. The Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga study, Aituā: Death in a changing Māori World, was the first and from this foundational support other grants from the Health Research Council and the Royal Society of New Zealand followed.

While the NPM study has drawn to a close, the research does not end here and will continue for the rest of the researchers’ lives, they say.

Outputs

Conference presentations
Awekotuku, N. T., & Nikora, L. W. (2012, June). Moengaroa: Death, lifestyle & sexuality in the Māori world. International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2012. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Bhana, V. M. H., Crapp, N., Poutu, H., Nikora, L. W., & Awekotuku, N. T. (2012, June). Death rituals: Running a tangi. How much and who pays? International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2012. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Nikora, L. W., & Masters, B. (2012, June). He aitua! Making final arrangements. International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2012. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Nikora, L. W., Temara, P., Awekotuku, N. T., & Seuili, B. (2012, June). Indigenous people talk about the changing nature of death rituals. Panel presentation at the International Indigenous Development Research Conference 2012. Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Auckland, New Zealand.

Peer reviewed journal papers
Malcolm-Buchanan, V., Awekotuku, N. T. & Nikora, L.W. (2012). Cloaked in Life and Death: Korowai, kaitiaki and
tangihanga. MAI Journal 1(1): 50-60.

Project Team: 

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