Te Atiawa Paake: Reflections on the playgrounds of my life
This thesis is about constructing an indigenous autobiographical narrative of my life as an Aotearoa/New Zealand Te Atiawa Iwi Paake, adult, Maori woman teacher, claiming Maori/Pakeha identity. Three Maori theoretical approaches underpin the thesis: Kaupapa Maori; Mana Wahine, Maori Feminism; and Aitanga. Kaupapa Maori takes for granted being Maori; Maori language, te reo Maori; and tikanga, Maori cultural practices. Whakapapa, Maori descent lines and Pakeha genealogy connect with Maori/Pakeha identity. Mana Wahine, Maori Feminism, is about how Maori women live their lives and view their worlds. Aitanga relates to the distribution of power and Maori as active participants in social relationships. Eight decades of problematic, complex, multi-layered, multi-sited, multi-faceted life experiences of one Maori woman teacher are explored. Memories and events are presented through a metaphor of ‘play’ in a socially constructed milieu of power relationships, language and dialogic encounters reflected upon and analysed. Three main recurring themes of Whakapapa and Identity, Cultural Navigation and Cultural Flexibility, Resilience and Endurance, are woven into the thesis fabric.