A contemporary Māori culinary tradition - does it exist? : an analysis of Māori cuisine
The Western world has long boasted different, regional culinary traditions as witnessed by the Yorkshire pudding of Northeast England, the gateaux of France and the griddle of Western Scotland. An extraordinary aspect of these culinary traditions is that they have stood the test of time. Many may argue that for an Indigenous culinary tradition to exist it would be in isolation from the Western world and there could be no influence from alternative resources, tools and methods. The colonization of New Zealand brought inevitable changes in Maori society and one of the most fundamental of these changes affected Maori cuisine. First impressions of a contemporary Maori household would have one believe that traditional Maori food, tools and methods are extinct; therefore a Maori culinary tradition is also long dead, surviving only at formal occasions on marae (meeting house). However the appearance of Maori recipes in modern day cookbooks, and Maori cookbooks themselves would seem to contradict this statement. Nevertheless one has to ask if these cookbooks are a long line of 'heritage' books harking back to days of old: are they designed for tourists in order to get the 'authentic' Maori experience; are these recipes due to a renaissance of Maoritanga in order to assert cultural identity? Or are they in fact evidence that a Maori culinary tradition has been running parallel to that of Pakeha? Through analyses of these cookbooks and through interviews conducted with members of the Maori community, it is evident that an Indigenous people such as Maori can in fact absorb outside influences whilst still retaining an inherently Maori culinary tradition.
Advisor: Leach, Helen; Williams, Jim
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis