Tackling Māori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport
The primary aim of this paper, then, is to deconstruct one of the dominant discourses surrounding Māori men—a discourse that was constructed to limit, homogenize, and reproduce an acceptable and imagined Māori masculinity, and that has also gained hegemonic consent from many tāne. I outline and focus on those historical racist notions of Māori masculine physicality that have developed into a contemporary portrayal—the natural Māori sportsman. To problematize this construction it is necessary to examine the racially based traits, such as physicality, imposed on tāne in the precolonial and early colonial periods, and the role New Zealand State education has played in perpetuating this construction. I describe sport as a site of “positive” racism that acts as a contemporary conduit to channel tāne into the physical realm.
ISSN: 1043-898X; 1527-9464
Keywords: Maori; Masculinity; Sport; Indigenous Masculinity; Rugby; Maori masculinity; Brendan Hokowhitu; Te Tumu; University of Otago; Maori Studies
Research Type: Journal Article
Permission kindly granted to reproduce this article from The Contemporary Pacific editorial board.