Tag Archives: Tourism

Tourism and Single Stories in the Maori Culture

Before we started doing our blogs, I had my mind set on having Samoa being my cultural group since I knew more about the culture and stereotypes. But if I did, I wouldn’t have learned anything new from this research. That’s when I decided to do another indigenous group in the South Pacific and chose to focus my research on the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori. With the Maori culture, I have  a basic knowledge of their ways compared to the other cultures in Polynesia. I know about some of their traditional dances such as the Poi dance, the Haka and their stick game. I also know about the, “hongi,” which is a form of greeting that they do and that their Runanga, or meeting houses are covered with carvings of their ancestors that protect their land. Even though I knew all of these things I wanted to learn more and better understand the warriors of New Zealand.

When people think of Maori, some of the things that come to mind are tattoos, rugby, and the Haka. Most people often assume that all Maori men have tattoos on their face, but some of the Maori men that I know do not have any tattoos on their body. Another assumption is that all Maori like rugby and play rugby… I don’t know any Maori that don’t like rugby, but I know that there are people that like other things than rugby. These are some of the single stories that I have found about the Maori people. But one of the stereotypes that I found interesting about the Maori people is that there are people that think that they are dumb and are only good at drinking and smoking. In my search for stereotypes online, this was on most of the websites that I looked at. The reason why people think this way about them is because of the media. There are a lot of films that depict the Maori culture and lifestyle, but there are times where some of those films main purpose is to entertain rather than educate such as, Once Were Warriors. By doing this blog, I was able to see that the Maori culture is more than what is portrayed in the media. Being able to read the newsletters about the people and looking at tourist’s videos of their experiences in the Maori community, it’s not hard t0 see that the Maori people are trying to make an effort of ending these single stories by showing what they know about the world. Their culture is rich and authentic, that they still practice some of the things that they did back in the day. Even though they do it for tourists, it’s still a way for them to connect with their roots and have others step into their shoes and learn why they love their culture.

With tourism spreading across most of the Polynesian Islands, it can have a great impact on the culture and the people. Some cultural groups are not fond about the idea of tourism, luckily, the Maori people are not one of them. The Maori people look at the idea of tourism as a way to connect with their culture and be able to share it with others. This is how the Maori people show critical cultural relativism. They want the tourist to walk through their villages, learn about their way of life  and their traditions so that they will be able to understand the culture. Most of the Maori villages are well-known tourist sites that allow people to experience the Maori culture first hand. None of the tourist activities that I know of promote any single stories, except maybe the Haka since it can be intimidating. Maybe an ethnocentric example that the tourists could think of about the Maori is that they are barbaric? There is not a specific example that I could think of and there are not a lot of examples online. But if we base it on how the Maori people were ruthless warriors back in the day  and how the haka is performed by bulging their eyes, scratching/hitting  their chests as an intimidation, it could be a possible thought.

By conducting this research, I was able to have a small insight of the Maori people and their culture. I went into this research trying to answer the question of how has tourism impacted the Maori people and their culture. I was able to look at newsletters that provided interviews with some of the members in the community and their thoughts. I also was able to look at videos of tourist activities in some of the villages that participate with tourism. I came into this research having some background knowledge, but I pretended as though I knew nothing to have a better understanding of the culture and try to see things the way that the Maori do. I was not able to physically go to New Zealand and observe the Maori people, but by having videos, articles and photos of the impacts of tourism in the Maori community I was able to perform a small ethnographic blog post.

Some of the digital techniques that I learned that helped me with my blog was the hyperlinks. I found it difficult trying to put one video for my blog, but having to do two was insane. I found the solution to my problem by using hyperlinks of the website of my videos and there was no limit to how many hyperlinks I can put in my blog post. I also found search.creativecommons.org/ a great tool to find creative common photos and videos to post online without having to deal with any copyrighted issues. For the newsletters I used Ebsco Host, to find my articles for my blogs, which made it easier to find. I wasn’t able to explore the website as much. but I found these strategies very useful in making my blogs since they made it much easier.

After doing this blog, I have a better understanding of the Maori culture than I did before. I’m glad that I was able to conduct a mini-research and hopefully with this experience I can do more blog posts in the near future about other groups.

 

 

Preserving Heritage Rights vs. Economic Gain

The first article that I have chosen is from the Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine called,  “The Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Claim to their Cultural and Intellectual Heritage Rights Property” by Watson. In this news story Watson talks about the Treaty of Waitangi and the Waitangi Tribunal, which gives and recommends the Maori people the right to protect their cultural heritage and their land. Watson’s new story talks about the differences between the Maori people’s rights and the Intellectual Property Rights when it comes to tourism. The Maori people want to preserve their culture and lands with the Tribunal, but with tourism, it can be seen as an Intellectual Property Right since there is an economic gain. The overall article talks about how to the Maori people are trying to find a mechanism that can  protect their heritage rights.

Finding the credentials for this article was very difficult since Watson was the only thing written under the author section. Looking over the Cultural Survival Magazine website, it’s an organization that empowers indigenous communities and advocates for them. The website is used for people to share their experiences or information about issues involving indigenous groups. Watson has one more article that is attached to his/her  name called, “From Hall of Worship to Tourist Center: An Ancestral Hall in Hong Kong’s New Territories.” It’s hard to tell whether or not they are experienced with the subject with only two articles, and only having Watson as their identity. Since the article was published in 2000, it’s obviously out-of-date of 17 years, but not much has changed in the Maori tourism. The audience for this article could be for students, like myself, wanting to learn about the Maori culture or an anthropologist.

The majority of the article is factual and valid since Watson listed some references and refers to them in the article. But I’m a little doubtful since Watson misspelled Maori many times throughout the article. The ideas/ arguments presented in this article are  in the middle between more and less advanced. The reason being is because some of the articles that I’ve read talk about how some of the Maori people are open to tourism. The author shows no bias and the article is presented as informative.

The second article that I have chosen is from Asia Pacific called “A Kiwi Plan: Tourism in New Zealand” by Krister Anderson.  In this news story Anderson talks about how New Zealand and the Maori culture are working together to do tourisms that will have a balance of an economic gain and  protect the rights of the Maori people. Tourism has helped with giving people jobs through the different programs and has sent an example for other countries with indigenous groups. Anderson continues on by saying how New Zealand is greatly known for have that balance and how they try to avoid any negative outcomes from tourism.

Krister Anderson is an author and associate editor for the Harvard International Review, and has attended Harvard University. He has 10 years of experience of working with different cultures overseas. Harvard International Review, is a blog that talks about issues and news from all over the world. Since the article was published in the summer of 2004, it is out-of-date by 13 years but not much has changed in the Maori tourism. The audience that the author could be addressing could be students, especially those that are attending Harvard University. Also, anthropologists that are interested in the Maori culture.

The information provided in this article are factual and valid. He has statistics and references that he refers to throughout his article to support the information he’s providing. Anderson’s ideas/ arguments are more on the line with other works that I’ve read since they all talk about how tourism is open in the Maori culture. The author shows no bias and the article is presented as informative.

Citations:

  1. Condevaux, A. (2009, July 1). Maori Culture on Stage: Authenticity and Identity in Tourist Interactions. Retrieved February 14, 2017, from http://www.pierce.ctc.edu:2099/ContentServer.asp?T=P&P=AN&K=40830558&S=R&D=a9h&EbscoContent=dGJyMNLr40Sep7I4xNvgOLCmr0%2Bep7RSsqm4TbWWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMO7f44rh5epT69fnhrnb5ofx6gAA
  2. W. (2009, December). The Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Claim to their Cultural  and Intellectual Heritage Rights Property. Retrieved February 15, 2017, from https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/waitangi-tribunal-and-maori-claim-their-cultural-and