Where there is a trough there is someone wanting to swill about in it.
The way early settlers documented Māori women is disturbing and has had a damaging impact on how wahine are viewed today, an emerging health researcher says.
Ngahuia Murphy has received $110,000 from the Health Research Council to complete her PhD studies into Māori beliefs of the womb or whare tangata.
“I am looking at some of the pre-colonial ceremonies and ritual knowledge traditions around the whare tangata and I’m going to be tracing those ceremonial practices into the context of today.”
In order to complete her masters Ngahuia Murphy read texts from colonial ethnographers, who studied Māori in the early days.
“What they have written about Māori women and particularly Māori women’s reproductive body is that it is a source of inferiority in our culture, which completely contradicts our cultural paradigms about the significance of the whare tangata as the house of humanity.” Read more »