Whakapapa [ˈɸakaˌpapa] or genealogy is a fundamental principle that permeates the whole of Māori culture. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Whakapapa, on the northern side of Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand's Tongariro National Park, is one of the mountain's two commercial skifields Genealogy (from Greek: el γενεά el-Latn genea, "descent" and el λόγος el-Latn logos, "knowledge" is the study of This article discusses the Māori people of New Zealand For their language see Māori language, and for other meanings see Māori (disambiguation. Māori culture is the culture of the Māori of New Zealand, and Eastern Polynesian people and forms a distinctive part of New Zealand culture However, it is more than just a genealogical 'device'. It is in fact a paradigm of cultural discourse and provides the basis for establishing, enhancing, and even challenging relationships within and between whanau (families), hapu (local tribal entities), and iwi (regional tribal bodies). Whānau is a Māori-language word for extended Family. Other meanings though less commonly used in English are to give birth, or genus Family denotes a group of People affiliated by consanguinity affinity or co-residence A hapū is a division of a Māori Iwi ( Tribe)&mdashoften translated as 'subtribe' In New Zealand society iwi (iwi form the largest everyday Social units in Māori populations.
The recitation of whakapapa is a critical element in establishing identity - and the phrase 'Ko [enter name] au' (I am [enter name]') is in fact the personal statement that incorporates (by implication) over 25 generations of heritage. Kinship is a relationship between any entities that share a genealogical origin through either biological cultural or historical descent Experts in whakapapa are able to trace and recite a lineage not only through the many generations in a linear sense, but also between such generations in a lateral sense.
Some scholars have attributed this type of genealogical 'activity' as being tantamount to ancestor worship. Most Māori would probably attribute this to ancestor reverence. Tribes and sub-tribes are mostly named after an ancestor (either male or female): for example, Ngati Kahungunu means 'descendants of Kahungunu ' (a famous chief who lived mostly in what is now called the Hawke's Bay region). Ngāti Kahungunu is a Māori Iwi located along the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Geography The region is situated on the east coast of the North Island.
Many physiological terms are also genealogical in 'nature'. For example the terms 'iwi', 'hapu', and 'whanau' (as noted above) can also be translated in order as 'bones', 'pregnant', and 'give birth'. The prize winning Māori author, Keri Hulme, named her best known novel as The Bone People: a title linked directly to the dual meaning of the word 'iwi as both 'bone' and '[tribal] people'. Keri Hulme (born March 9, 1947) is a New Zealand Writer, best known for The Bone People, her only novel
Most formal orations (or whaikorero) begin with the "nasal" expression - Tihei Mauriora! This is translated as the 'Sneeze of Life'. In effect, the orator (whose 'sneeze' reminds us of a newborn clearing his or her airways to take the first breath of life) is announcing that 'his' speech has now begun, and that his 'airways' are clear enough to give a suitable oration.
Whakapapa is defined as the "genealogical descent of all living things from the gods to the present time (Barlow, 1994, p. 173). " Since all living things including rocks and mountains are believed to possess whakapapa, it is further defined as "a basis for the organisation of knowledge in the respect of the creation and development of all things (Barlow, 1994, p. A mountain is a Landform that extends above the surrounding Terrain in a limited area with a peak 173). "
Hence, whakapapa also implies a deep connection to land and the roots of one’s ancestry. In order to trace one’s whakapapa it is essential to identify the location where one’s ancestral heritage began; "you can’t trace it back any further (Russell, 2004). " "Whakapapa links all people back to the land and sea and sky and outer universe, therefore, the obligations of whanaungatanga extend to the physical world and all being in it (Glover, 2002, p. 14). "
While some family and community health organisations may require details of whakapapa as part of client assessment, it is generally better if whakapapa is disclosed voluntarily by whanau, if they are comfortable with this (Russell, 2004). Usually details of a client’s whakapapa are not required since sufficient information can be obtained through their iwi identification. Cases where whakapapa may be required include adoption cases or situations where whakapapa information may be of benefit to the client’s health and well-being. Adoption is the act of legally placing a child with a Parent or parents other than those to whom they were born
Whakapapa is also believed to determine an individual’s intrinsic tapu (Glover, 2002). "Sharing whakapapa enables the identification of obligations. . . and gaining trust of participants (Glover, 2002, p. 31). " Additionally since whakapapa is believed to be "inextricably linked to the physical gene (Mead, 1995, as cited in Glover, 2002, p. History See also History of genetics The existence of genes was first suggested by Gregor Mendel (1822-1884 who in the 1860s studied inheritance 32)" concepts of tapu would still apply. Therefore it is essential to ensure that appropriate cultural protocols are adhered to.
Misuse of such private and privileged information is of great concern to Māori (Russell, 2004). While whakapapa information may be disclosed to a kaimatai hinengaro in confidence, this information may be stored in databases that could be accessed by others. While most health professions are embracing technological advances of data storage, this may be an area of further investigation so that confidential information pertaining to a client’s whakapapa cannot be disclosed to others.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to find out if the client is comfortable with whakapapa information being stored in ways that have the potential to be disclosed to others. To combat such issues, a Māori Code of Ethics has been suggested (Pomare, 1992, as cited in Glover, 2002). Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life A Māori Code of Ethics may prevent "the mismanagement of manipulation of either the information or the informants (Te Awekotuku, 1991, p. 13, as cited in Glover, 2002, p. 30). "
While whakapapa encompasses a broad range of ideas and concepts (both of past heritage and of the environment), it is essential to exercise caution when gathering information from Māori clients. If cultural assessments are required, it may be appropriate to contact Māori who are skilled in this area. Mental health services provided for Māori clients should invest both time and resources to learn cultural protocols relating to whakapapa, until a Māori Code of Ethics is fully developed. Medical ethics is primarily a field of Applied ethics, the study of Moral values and judgments as they apply to Medicine. Once developed, it is sincerely hoped that the Māori Code of Ethics would be adhered to by all health professions.