He whakawhanaungatanga tikanga rua: establishing family links; a bicultural experience
Bishop, A Russell
This study focusses on the inexorable process of Europeanisation that affected my Grandfathers bicultural family in the Lower Waikato, New Zealand, during the period of the 'crucial decades', 1840-1865. In this thesis the study is introduced, the theory and methodology for the research are outlined, then the children of Irihapeti Hahau are introduced as are the life choices most of them made and the resultant locational and cultural diaspora of the family. Then consideration is given to the impact of Robert Maunsell, the missionary and his schools upon the life choices of family members. The study relies heavily upon the knowledge and interest of numerous 'third generation' descendants of this family, including the author. Therefore this study is the result of the combined efforts of numerous family members to seek answers to common questions related to the loss of the family's bicultural identity. The study attempts to understand the reasons why these ancestors of ours would have made certain cultural determinations, ‘life choices’, that created a cultural and locational diaspora of the family. Gramsci's concept of hegemony is used in this thesis to highlight the centrality of the notion of persuasiveness of ideas as an analytical tool. This concept was useful in enabling an understanding of the interactions between the social/political context and the individuals located in Lower Waikato in the crucial decades of the middle nineteenth century. Gramsci's notion of hegemony is also potentially emancipatory because it subsumes and incorporates the dynamic concept of resistance. Potentially, this concept can offer family members means whereby they can engage in critical reconstruction of suppressed possibilities, and also critical appraisal of those ideologies that maintain the dominance of a Eurocentric world view in New Zealand. The methodology offered uses a variety of oral, visual and written sources to 'reconstruct' the life histories of the family members involved and of the other significant characters who influenced their life choices. This methodology is orientated at mediating that tension that exists between those who promote analyses of structures and those who promote analyses of purely cultural accounts. In other words, the 'reconstructed life history' methodology is designed to avoid reduction of individuals to passive bearers of roles, norms, discourses and ideologies, and also to avoid the exaggeration of the power of social actors to construct meanings of their existence that underemphasises the power relations of the wider society and the limitations that this places upon personal choice. Because of the complexity of the power struggles taking place during this period it was necessary to concentrate upon the interaction of the individuals within a detailed study of the context of the time. The thesis introduces details of the complexity of the period, then focusses upon one of the elements that it is considered would have affected my Grandfather's family. This element was the specific targeting of this family by the Reverend Robert Maunsell for special incorporation into his own world view through the institutional medium of his boarding school, initially at Waikato Heads, and from 1853 to 1863, upriver at Kohanga. The study then considers how the struggles between the hegemonic designs of the Missionary and the hegemony of the Settler Assembly eventually eliminated many of the options open to this 'bicultural' family, essentially making these children 'irrelevent' to their Maori whanaunga, and left them with little choice but to join the emerging Pakeha world.
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Education
Research Type: Thesis
Photographs are omitted from the digital copy of this thesis at the request of the author.