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Monday 10 September 2007

Keynote address: the creative paradigm emerging in iwi/Maaori communities

Te Ahukaramuu Charles Royal
(researcher, writer, composer)

Sharing ideas about emerging creative paradigm. What it might mean for libraries and archives.
Maaori communities dominated by quest for social justice and desire for cultural restoration. Now yielding creative potential. (Have been creative in past, but now coming to the forefront.

All creative activities involved in -- research, even music -- NZ libraries and archives have been vital. Libraries improving in how they handle Maaori materials. (Still needs improvement in manuscripts.)

Masters programme at te Waananga o Raukawa in Maaori Matauranga. Theme of M culture as living culture, new ideas - modern, alive, vitalised (not just reconstructing/restoring pre-existing knowledge). Equipping students to become creative with matauranga. Develoop inspired and creative individuals within matauranga tradition.

Creative Potential paradigm

  • source of national pride - colonisation/disenfranchisement led to turning inward and away from pakeha influences. Creative potential paradigm seeks to overcome the idea that Maaori activities should stand in a corner. Challenge to undertake activities to which broader society can connect with though inspired by own culture).
  • interleaved distinctiveness - modern runanga has traditional background but often is a corporate entity too. Distinctive organisation but also legal entity - participating with others.
  • mana as creativity - often translated as 'power' but leads to idea that need to acquire (Crown) power. But can also be mana as expressed through creativity. --Get out of competitiveness.

Viewed from Maatauranga Maaori

  • moving through tangata Maaori to tangata whenua - from old paradigm of restoring Maori culture; experience of being Maaori; now that have some idea of identity can move into challenge of what it means to be tangata whenua today. From Maori vs world, to philosophical idea of what it means to be tangata whenua. Identity is only first step. Moving into humanity as a whole using traditional knowledge.
  • moving through Te Ao Maaori to Te Ao Maarama - world bounded by term 'Maaori". Te Ao Maarama -> the world at large. Using world "Maaori" a reductive formula, glossing over variety, diversity of values and views. Terms create barriers. Being Maaori as starting point, not end point.
  • Moving through maatauranga to waananga - (from knowledge to creation of new knowledge) . Was obsessed with whakapapa, karakia, waiata... First step; but next step is to create new knowledge.

Thoughts for libraries and archives:

  • digital sources of maatauranga Maaori rather than oral
  • digital natives need oral guidance and mentors
  • cultural historians rather than claims historians - looking forward to history of love; history of perfume (7 traditional perfumes) as history of land is not so needed for claims process.
  • researchers or maatauranga Maaori enabling new creativity

paper available from his website.