Landscape : perceptions of Kai Tahu I Mua, Āianei, Ā Muri Ake
Russell, Khyla J.
This research is concerned with Kai Tahu experiences and understandings of the concept and use of the term, landscape. The term itself is one used variously to represent for us as Iwi, the land and the sea including flora and fauna. The Kai Tahu landscape is Papatuanuku, our cosmological mother. Particular areas used for the case studies include the following marae: Otakou, Karitane, Kaikoura, Tuahiwi, Ka marae e torn o Horomaka, Taumutu, Te Tai Poutini, Hukanui, Waihopai, Arowhenua, Oraka, Awarua and the many places of te robe potae o Kai Tahu i Te Waipounemu. Material was drawn from literature, the participants formally interviewed and many from within and outside Kai Tahu robe potae. All responses are used to illustrate the ways in which Kai Tahu and some of their non-Kai Tahu spouses express particular definitions of what for each, constitutes and is constituted in the landscape. Kai Tahu participants' landscape definition includes whakapapa, placenames, identity (personal and cultural), spirituality and sustenance. Elements of these are present to a similar degree for some of the spouses, but not all. This seems largely dependent upon the degree to which they have participated in matters pertaining to Kai Tahu. Degrees of participation and connection may be applied to Tahu people alienated from their kaik, whether urbanised near or distantly domiciled. Theoretical bases in literature from a number of disciplines are used to discuss perceptions of what anthropologists more usually term 'place' and how Kai Tahu fit this or choose to fit the understanding of cultural others into our world view. The research also looks briefly at the environmental landscape and who presently has power and therefore mana over its use and or misuse, especially in relation to management of Papatuanuku. Due to the of the type project this thesis is, it cannot finally conclude there is a single Kai Tahu or gender specific perception of landscape. This would never be provable in any circumstance, since it is not scientifically based. It does however, suggest there is an indigenous perspective of landscape that differs from certain Western thinking and within the indigenous perspective, a Kai Tahu epistemological understanding of the landscape based on our theory and knowledge of ourselves.
Advisor: Leckie, Jacqui; Williams, Jim; Barber, Ian
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis