Maori Culture - William, Adi, Vishaal

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Maori Culture - William, Adi, Vishaal by Mind Map: Maori Culture - William, Adi, Vishaal

1. The Haka: A Maori Ceremonial Dance

1.1. Ka Mate

1.1.1. The Ka Mate is one of the most widely known variation of Haka. The dance was composed by Tribe Leader Te Rauparaha. The Ka Mate was born as a celebration of life over death. The dance was created to energize and invigorate Maori warriors during battles against warring tribes. The Ka Mate was altered throughout time as the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks, use the dance as a staple of the team. The team credits the dance and chant to tribe leader Te Rauparaha. The Haka was seen by the whole world when the rugby team used it as their pre game ritual during the rugby world cup. 

1.2. Poi

1.2.1. Poi is a performance art stemming from the Maori culture during the 1800s. The term "Poi" can be used to reference the dance, the items used to accomplish the dance, or the music following the dance. Traditional tools are the main part of the dance as dancers swing weights in a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. The dance has spread across the world as it is performed at competitions and cultural events worldwide. Poi is performed by mostly women in families. 

1.3. Manawa Wera

1.3.1. The Manawa Wera dance is a type of Haka established for the purpose of funerals. The Maori perform this dance as a way to guide the spirit of the dead to the Maori afterlife. They believe that the spirit of the person is guided by the dance to the Pohutukawa tree. The tree is located on a northern island of New Zealand. They believe that the spirit that is buried travels to the roots of the tree and joints its ancestors and family. The uniqueness of the dance is that it is the only dance not presenting weapons or war in anyway. Making this the most peaceful of the dances. the Manawa Wera is still performed today, as most families believe the dance is symbolic and a representation of the heritage of New Zealand

1.4. Kapa Haka

1.4.1. The Kapa Haka is mainly competitive dance to represent the current issues and future possibilities for the Maori communities. The dance is performed by Maori youth and is to be performed during special days of the year. The Kapa Haka is set to be performed at competitions in the national and international Maori communities. the dance takes the world by storm as people worldwide accept the dance as culturally beautiful.

1.5. History of Haka

2. Ta Moko: Maori Tattooing

2.1. Ta moko is the traditional practice of tattooing the skin as practiced by the Maori. It is a centuries-long custom, deeply tied to the religion and cultural institutions of the Maori. Ta moko is especially significant because the Maori have no indigenous written language; tattoos were how individuals could express their family, life history, achievements, tribal affiliation, and social status. Traditionally, men received tattoos on their face and buttocks, while women received tattoos on their lips, chin, and shoulders.

2.2. Origins

2.2.1. The origins of ta moko are unclear, with no defined hearth, or place of origin, but historians believe it began with funeral rites where women would lacerate themselves and put soot in the wounds as a permanent reminder of a loved one.

2.2.2. Maori folklore states that ta moko began when a Maori chief named Mataora married Niwareka, a spirit of the underworld. When one day Mataora hit Niwareka and she fled to the underworld, Mataora followed her out of guilt and met Uetonga, her father, who taught him about ta moko and gave him a moko to act as a permanent reminder to avoid evil. Mataora and Niwareka

2.3. Practice

2.3.1. While tattooing is practiced throughout the Pacific islands, ta moko is distinct in that it involves very deep cuts in the skin, resulting in a rough or grooved texture. This is accomplished with uhi, or chisels, which cut deep into the skin and then fill the grooves with pigment. There were distinct types of uhi as well, each serving a certain purpose. The uhi kohiti were flat-bladed and used to actually cut the skin when struck with mallets. The uhi matarau were serrated and comb-like and used to deposit pigment into the skin. Uhi were often made from the bones of local seabirds, especially albatrosses.

2.3.2. The pigment used with ta moko is wai ngarahu, which is made by mixing oils and liquids from different plants with a special type of charcoal derived from burning resinous trees. The production of wai ngarahu depends on plants native to New Zealand, showing environmental determinism in the environment's great effect on the Maori's cultural customs.

2.3.3. Receiving ta moko through the traditional means was long and painful, and prayers, chants, and songs were often sung as a form of comfort.

2.4. Symbolism

2.4.1. In Maori culture, the face is split into 8 separate sections, each representing a different aspect of the individual. Furthermore, the left side of the face is meant to represent the father's ancestry, and the right side is meant to represent the mother's.

2.4.2. Possibly the most distinctive element of Maori tattoo design is the spiral shape, which is known as a koru. Koru are meant to resemble fern fronds and symbolize life and renewal; each koru in a tattoo represents a loved one and a loving relationship. Notably, the koru also features on the tails of Air New Zealand planes. The koru design is unique in Maori culture, as the non-material cultural concepts of Maori tattoo design emerged in isolation from other Pacific cultures.

2.4.3. Another design element that features heavily is the hei matau, or fish hook, which is connected to the fishing practiced by the ancestors of the Maori, as well as Maori legends of the demigod Maui, who wielded a magical fish hook.

2.4.4. Hei tiki, a symbol of the unborn human embryo and an important talisman of the Maori, was also common to Maori tattoos.

2.4.5. Even the various infill lines in tattoos could carry symbolic importance.

2.5. History and Popular Culture

2.5.1. Beginning with the arrival of European colonists (known as Pakeha to the Maori), ta moko gradually faded away, as the Europeans sought to assimilate Maori tribes into their own culture; this imposition of culture is known as cultural imperialism. While ta moko were generally looked down upon by European colonizers, they were still fascinated by the practice, leading to many Maori with heavily tattooed faces being killed for their heads, which were then sold as souvenirs or collector's items. Maori tribes would even sometimes raid other tribes, behead those wearing moko, and trade them with the Europeans.

2.5.2. Since the late twentieth century, Maori tattoo designs have seen a comeback, spreading to many different parts of the globe as a result of both Maori efforts to express their own cultural identity and fascination from other parts of the world. Designs based on ta moko have quickly diffused out from New Zealand and become more mainstream; this rise in popularity has meant that ta moko has begun to display some of the characteristics of pop culture through its global presence and rapid diffusion. As a result of ta moko's popularization, there have been many notable and controversial uses of ta moko designs, as the religious connotations of the practice have led to accusations of commodification and cultural appropriation by more conservative Maori. Companies selling temporary tattoos were criticized for advertising "authentic Maori" tattoos, including a Californian company in 2017. A line of clothing released by Nike featured patterns inspired by Maori and Polynesian tattoos, sparking outrage, with some claiming abuse of a cultural icon to the Maori. Many described a picture of Australian model and actress Gemma Ward in a fashion magazine with moko on her chin as a cultural insult to the Maori.

3. The Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand, who have inhabited New Zealand for thousands of years. Their culture is rich and complex, with many unique traditions and beliefs that all contribute to New Zealand's cultural landscape.

4. Maori Mythology and Maui

4.1. Maui fishing up the North Island from the sea

4.1.1. Summary of north island story : One day, maui’s four brothers decided to go fishing, but did not invite maui because they were jealous of him and his magic. But, unbeknownst to them, he did in their canoe in the early morning, and once they got to fishing range, he popped up and then urged them to go forward, his brothers, still bewildered by his appearance, agreed. They rowed for a full day and night, until maui was satisfied. But in spite, his brothers did not give him any fishing bait, so he took his magical fish hook made from the jawbone of his ancestor and struck his nose to use his blood as bait. Once he cast his hook, it sank until it hit a massive immobile fish. He pulled and pulled, but his brothers did not help him, just holding on to the canoe as the fish resisted coming to the surface. But maui chanted magic, and finally, it came up to the surface. Maui told his brothers not to touch the fish until later. But as soon as he left, they started carving up the fish, which is how the north island got mountains and valleys, and why it looks like a battered stingray.

4.2. Maui's canoe becoming the South Island

4.2.1. In some traditions, the canoe that maui used in order to pull up the north island became the south island, so that the north island would stay forever anchored to the surface.

4.3. Maui slowing down the Sun

4.3.1. Summary of the story: Long ago, the sun mvoed across the sky to quickly, and there was not enough time to get work done and the plants would not sprout. Maui decided to do something, so he gathered his brothers to concoct a plan; they would go to where the sun rises everyday, and with rope made of flax they would snare the sun and beat it until it moved slowly across the sky. Maui and his brothers moved only in the night, so that the sun did not know what was coming. Once they arrived, they hid behind a clay wall, and once the sun's white teeth were visible, they sprung into action. His brothers held down the sun as maui bludgeoned the sun until it was weak and tired, and it has moved slowly across the world ever since.

4.4. Maui finding fire for humanity

4.4.1. Summary of the story: One day in the night, maui stared at the fire, and wondered what would happen if it went out. At this time, no one knew how to start fire, only able to make new fire from another fire. So one day, he went around and put out every fire in the village. They were mad at him, and demanded he go to the volcano in order to get fire once again. He made his way there, and inside he found an old woman, his aunt, Mahuika, the goddess of fire. He explained to her that all of the fire in the village went out and asked for fire. She gave him her fingernails, which were pure flame, and instructed maui not to drop it. But in order to find out how fire was made, he dropped 9 of them, until when he asked for her last fingernail, she grew so angry that she flung her nail at a kaikomoko tree, and when the flames died down, maui took the branches from the top of the tree and went home. Once he got there, he explained that the fire was probably in the brances, and so he took a hard stick from the mahoe tree, and rubbed it against the brances. He said come out fire, and he rubbed faster and faster, and first came a wisp of smoke, and then fire erupted from the branch, and then from that moment onwards, the people never had to worry about fire coming out.

4.5. Maui in popular culture

4.5.1. Maui has prominently appeared in the 2016 Disney movie Moana. This is an example of syncretism/acculturation, where pop conceptions of a rogue hero interwine with maori concepts of a strong hero that accomplished many things for mankind. The video above and the tatoos all over him contain references to his actual accomplishemnts in Polynesian and Maori myth.