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The Death of Koro Paka: “Traditional” Maori Patriarchy

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Title: The Death of Koro Paka: “Traditional” Maori Patriarchy
Authors: Hokowhitu, Brendan
Keywords: Maori
Whale Rider
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LC Subject Headings: Oceania -- Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Citation: Hokowhitu, B. 2008. The Death of Koro Paka: “Traditional” Maori Patriarchy. Special issue, The Contemporary Pacific 20 (1): 115-41.
Abstract: This article is underpinned by the simple question of what knowledge is produced
about Mäori men and why. In particular, it deconstructs the invention,
authentication, and re-authentication of “traditional” Mäori patriarchy. It begins
by examining how Mäori patriarchy was invented and authenticated through
the hybridization of Mäori and British masculine cultures, especially through the
early colonial education of a select few Mäori boys, who were subjects of a British
public schooling technique. The article draws from this historical analysis to demonstrate
how Mäori patriarchy continues to be authenticated in today’s popular
culture. Here, the contemporary re-authentication of Mäori patriarchy is drawn
attention to through a deconstruction of the film Whale Rider. This film analysis
argues that Whale Rider deploys a dangerous confl ation of representation and
reality, which ultimately re-authenticates the invented tradition of Mäori patriarchy.
The article is less concerned with denouncing particular tropes of Mäori men
as “false” and more with how such “truths” have come to be privileged; it also
seeks to uncloak the processes that produce Mäori masculine subjectivities.
ISSN: 1043-898X
Appears in Collections:TCP [The Contemporary Pacific ], 2008 - Volume 20, Number 1

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