jps_v128_mar2019_intro.pdf (2.48 MB)
Introduction transforming worlds: Kinship as practical ontology
journal contributionposted on 2022-08-26, 00:01 authored by B Lythberg, Conal McCarthyConal McCarthy, AJM Salmond
The papers in this issue trace a particular set of Māori interventions in anthropology, arts, museums and heritage in the early twentieth century and consider their implications for iwi ‘tribal communities’, development and environmental management today. They follow Apirana Ngata, Te Rangihīroa (Peter Buck) and some of their Māori and Pākehā (European New Zealander) allies at the Polynesian Society through the Dominion Museum expeditions, on Te Poari Whakapapa (the Board of Maori Ethnological Research) and in a variety of community research initiatives. The authors explore how engagement with ancestral tikanga ‘practices’ and with western technologies and institutions allowed these scholars and leaders to imagine te ao hou ‘a new world’ in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through the analysis of surviving photographs, films, artefacts, collections and displays, as well as the extensive written archives that were produced through their efforts, the articles in this issue explore how relational concepts and practices including whakapapa ‘kin networks’ and tuku ‘exchange of treasures (taonga)’ were mobilised as practical ontologies, that is, as methods for bringing new things (artefacts, systems, concepts) into being. The lasting effects of these collaborative projects on museums, scholarship, government administration and tribal cultural heritage are investigated, showing the enduring relevance of this work in the present.