Ngā Whakaaro a Puhiwahine: A Political Philosophy and Theory from the Mōteatea of Puhiwahine

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Journal Article
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Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies
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Simon, Hemopereki

Mōteatea are the orally sung literature and one of its most famous composers was Ngāti Tuwharetoa and Ngāti Maniapoto’s Puhiwahine. This paper will explore the political philosophy and theory contained within Puhiwahine’s waiata pakanga (war song) ‘Mā Wai Rā’ written for Ngāti Toa relations particularly their war leader, Te Rangihaeata. The observations from these forms of indigenous oral literature are based in a form of emerging indigenous philosophy called whakaaro based philosophy and method. Additionally, the author introduces a Kaupapa Māori Research method Marae ā-Rorohiko which outlines how social media, in particular Facebook, can be used as a form of group validity or qualitative data gathering. The analysis of the moteatea will focus on building a first person understanding of Māori philosophy and undestandings of mōteatea settler colonialism, colonisation and the centrality of mana and aroha in Māori society. It will reveal the that Puhiwahine had a deep understanding of Māori philosophy and what was to come from her people. It will also provide new understandings around the white possessive doctrine and mana motuhake.

settler colonialism, cultural memory, indigenous philosophy, Facebook research methods, Kaupapa Māori Research, Whakaaro-based philosophy, Mōteatea, Puhiwahine
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CC BY 4.0