AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

The Stabilising Influences of Tauihu and Taurapa on Māori Waka - Te ara o tukutuku pūngāwerewere.

by Quentin Roake

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Keywords: Maori; Waka; tauihu; taurapa
Record ID: 1303836
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5032


This multi-faced archival, interview and actions research project sought to understand the practical function of tauihu and taurapa in moderating canoe motion and their relevance to new generation waka. Knowledge of the dynamic stabilising role of the prow and stern carvings of Māori waka has dropped out of conscious use but still sits within the built and oral tradition. This study forms a key part of Nga Waka Tangata kaupapa, a project developing contemporary forms of Māori waka in collaboration with Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. Our approach has focused on maintaining the lineage of tikanga and of mātauranga within the construction of a new forms of waka which are intended to be used as the vehicle for a range of social, cultural and economic initiatives. The research method took the form of a cyclical dialogue that explored understanding from the oral tradition through korero with waka tohunga, in conjunction with analysis of historic hulls, images (moving and still) and text. Findings were fed back into the on-going discussion. The first iteration of a contemporary waka was developed concurrently, built and tested with findings also contributing to on-going dialogue. This process culminated in a second generation design that embodies the research findings. These results have made a significant contribution to the overarching kaupapa to reinitialise the fullest expression possible of traditional knowledge within contemporary waka culture. In the wider context it has aided in revaluing the significance of intellectual discovery through action, revaluing the significance of oral history, and promoting recognition of the opportunity that the breadth of this project presents to recreate the social and economic capital of Aotearoa New Zealand.