Tangi

Now the test is over it is time to catch up on some of the other readings I managed to skip over during the past 12weeks.

I thought this article provided a really lovely glimpse into the Maori culture. It is nice to read that the arrival of Europeans did not have a huge impact on every aspect of the culture and that this long standing mourning ritual has endured where other cultural rituals have, over time accommodated due to the growing multiethnic nature of New Zealand as a nation. The Tangi still remains a significant symbol of cultural identity and provides a strong sense of cultural pride in a long standing tradition that has survived acculturation. It is an important ritual that simultaneously reaffirms Maori identity in the fact that it is entirely governed by Maori cultural desires and beliefs and there is no European influence into the ritual, unlike other areas of social life in which the arrival of Europeans necessarily led to the change in aspects of the Maori rituals. I really like how Sinclair discusses the pre-liminal, liminal and post-liminal phases of the Tangi, the gender roles, and the ideological beliefs surrounding the ritual. The author is very keen to emphasise the Tangi as a means of cultural distinction between Maori and Pakeha and to emphasise that many important aspects of Maori ideology and cultural history have survived the historical European efforts for the accommodation of Maori rituals.

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~ by jackie213 on June 5, 2009.

One Response to “Tangi”

  1. This article was really interesting. He was right when he said that many Pakeha are mostly ignorant to what takes place at tangi – unfortunately I am one of those people! But yeah it gave a great insight into what goes on and its meaning. This may not be the case in all situations, but it seems that tangi have so much meaning for Maori, in ways a lot more than funerals do. We seem to have this unhealthy attitude towards death – when someone dies, they instantly go from being addressed by name to just “the body”. Why can’t our practices of dealing with death be more closely linked to tangi, and the ideas of the wairua and descending to tupuna status? This total outpouring of grief, where nothing is held back, it seems to right for celebrating both life and death – I think we need to be more accepting of grief and how natual it is.

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