Tātai Tara, Genealogical Storying: A Foundation of Decolonisation in Oceania
This thesis reads Patricia Grace's Baby No-eyes, and Albert Wendt's The Adventures of Vela and The Mango's Kiss to highlight the essential nature of tātai tara (genealogical storying) in the decolonisation of Oceanian identity. Central to the thesis is a personal mythology, a kind of memoir that recounts some of the author's foundational stories in the form of prose and poetry. The first core chapter deals with a discussion of post-colonial 'skins', the things that we believe are part of ourselves that essentially come from being socialised in a colonial culture. The chapter “Skeletons”, explores the family secrets that give rise to shame that is intergenerational. Finally, Flesh and Blood demonstrates the powerful nature of reclaiming family stories as a way of re-education and healing. Ultimately, the thesis aims at an understanding of tātai tara, a process that happens whether we are aware of it or not, and how the individual is a creator of his or her own identity through the level of engagement with the stories.