Living Memory and the Travelling Mountain Narrative of Taranaki
The Travelling Mountain Narrative is the origin myth of Taranaki maunga and the foundation on which Taranaki tribal tradition and identity is constructed. The story pattern of the Travelling Mountain Narrative relates the journey of Taranaki maunga and Te Toka a Rauhoto to Te Tai Hauāuru. This thesis establishes that the origin myth was sourced in the historical migration account of the ancestor Rua Taranaki and mythologised over multiple generations. Te Toka a Rauhoto is the tangible connection between the past and the present and is represented by the sacred stone located at Puniho Pā. Informed by mātauranga Māori paradigms, a literature and qualitative mixed method research framework collated a wide variety of information about the Travelling Mountain Narrative and the tūpuna of the Kāhui Maunga, the early inhabitants of the Taranaki region. Exploring the way myth and history intersects with the lived reality of a contemporary tribal community this thesis contributes to the critical analysis of these tribal traditions. This thesis also highlights how participating and contributing to the pā, hapū and the iwi throughout the duration of PhD research also offered insider insights into the modern retention of ancient knowledge.