Cultural Inheritances In Polynesian Poetry Essay Research

Cultural Inheritances In Polynesian Poetry Essay, Research Paper

The poetical work of Albert Wendt, Apirana Taylor,

Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Hone Tuwhare, Keri Hulme,

Gloria Rawlinson, J. C. Sturm, and Roma Potiki all have

voices that are informed by and reflect their Polynesian

cultural heritages in assorted ways. The chief ways in

which these heritages can be seen to be reflected, is by

demoing the poets inclusion of their civilization s mythology,

imposts, and civilization. The manner in which these poets

voices have been informed by their civilizations, can be seen

with depicting the manner these poets address their civilization s


Albert Wendt was born in Western Samoa. The contemplations

of his Polynesian cultural heritages is apparent in the manner

he uses their mythologies in his poesy. In his verse form No

Return there is an obvious usage of civilization s mythology:

her journey to Pulotu has no morning. ( p109 ) Pulotu is the

spirit universe in Polynesian mythology. In The Mountains of

Ta U he draws on the celebrated fable of Maui: like

whirling tops or Maui s infinitely / contriving head. ( p110 )

Maui is an of import portion of Polynesian mythology ; Maui is

a superman who is used to state of many narratives.

There are besides contemplations of Polynesian cultural

heritages in Hone Tuwhare s usage of mythology in his

poesy. Tuwhare was born in Kaikohe, and belongs to the

Ngapuhi hapus Ngati Korokoro, Ngati Tautahi, Te

Popoto, and Uri-O-Hau. In his verse form Papa-tu-a-nuku, he

utilizations Maori mythology. The rubric, Papa-tu-a-nuku, means

Earth Mother, which is portion of a figure of nature s

elements that are personified in Maori mythology. Hense,

the Earth being personified as a female parent, and the content of

the verse form affecting this interaction with the Earth:

We are rub downing the ricked

back of the land

with our sore but ever-loving pess:

snake pit, she loves it!

Writhing, the land wiggles

in delectation. ( p242 )

The contemplations of Polynesian cultural heritages are besides

evident in Apirana Taylor s usage of Maori mythology.

Taylor is of Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngati Porou and Ngati

Ruanui descent. In his verse form The Womb, when depicting

the grudges of the land because of the colonists damaging

it, he desribes the land s revenge in the signifier of a Maori

myth: that of the God Ruamoko:

I am the land

the uterus of life and decease

Ruamoko the unborn God

rumblings within me

and the fires of Ruapehu still live. ( p101 )

Further, In the poesy of Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, there

are besides contemplations of Polynesian cultural heritages of

mythology. Throughout the voice of Sanctuary of Spirits

many Polynesian fables are referred to ; such as Te

Rauparaha, Tama, Hakitara, Pehi, Te Hiko, Tamaiharanui,

etc. Throughout the voice of The Dark Lord of Savaiki

fables such as Paroa and Paetou are mentioned. The

name in the rubric itself is synonymous with his civilization s

mythology. In Soul Traps, the fable of Maui is present

once more, as in Wendt s The Mountains of Ta U ; Maui is

frequently referred to in Polynesian poesy.

It is non merely the poets use of mythology in their poesy

that reflects their cultural heritages ; it is besides in the

content of many of their verse forms that show the imposts and

civilization of their civilization. This is apparent in the poesy of

Tuwhare ; such as in Tangi. A Tangi is the Maori significance

for a funeral, which is a traditional rite that Maoris

undertake with the adieus and entombment of the dead. The

bowed caputs / of old adult females ( p237 ) invokes an image

that is synonymous with a Tangi. In the verse form Dear

Cousin, there is mention to nutrient ( or kai ) that is

synonymous with Maori s penchant for such. This

includes Puha, Kamokamo, riwai, etc, which is represented

in the undermentioned infusion: and on it place a steaming pot of

puha, / kamokamo, riwai. ( p245 )

The poesy of Keri Hulme besides shows a reflecting of Maori

cultural heritages through her inclusions of their

imposts in her poesy. This is apparent in her poesy from

Fishing the Olearia Tree. In this, the nutrient that is

described is synonomous with Maori kai ; such as kumara,

yams, muttonbirds, etc:

pink flesh of smoke-cured eels, the lemony succulency of


muttonbirds grilled so their tegument cracklings and the Sweet

fat bastings

the kumara, the adust yams, the wrinkly salmon-pink

yams. ( p86 )

Throughout the poesy of Gloria Rawlinson ; her inclusion

of the civilization of her civilization, reflects the cultural

heritages from her old place of Tonga. This is apparent in

her verse form The Islands Where I Was Born. The verse form is

about the memories of her place, as suggested by the rubric.

Consequently, many facets of her cultural heritages

from Tonga s civilization are reflected. The imagination is

synonymous with Tonga s civilization, in which there is much

imagination of coral, palm trees, and the ocean: When I saw

the Pacific skyward beyond our coral ; / Farewells fluttered

& # 8230 ; palm-trees turned away ( p394 ) There are besides islands,

giants, etc: Once on an island ocean trip / A coupling of

giants. ( p395 )

More peculiar, in depicting the poets use of their

civilization s imposts and civilization, there is their usage of

linguistic communication. Wendt s cultural heritages from Polynesia is

reflected in the manner he incorporates Samoan linguistic communication into

his poesy. This is apparent in his verse form The Mountains of

Ta U. A batch of the words used are of the Samoan idiom,

such as aitu and atua. Many of the nouns that are used

are besides of Samoan beginning ; such as the the sweet black

berries of mosooi and the laumaile leaves. ( p110 )

Tuwhare besides reflects his cultural heritages by

integrating his civilization s linguistic communication into his poesy. This is

evident in his Po

mutton quad Sun O, where the talker uses an

informal manner of speech production, synonymous with some Maoris

manner of talking the English linguistic communication. The informal

pronunciations and morphology of words can be seen as

distinctively built-in with some people of his civilization:

Gissa smiling Sun, giss year best

good mawnin one, fresh n cool like

yore still comin & # 8211 ; still

half in an half outa the local area network flower stalk? ( p242 )

Despite the contemplations of the poets Polynesian

heritages, the manner that they have been informed by their

Polynesian civilization must be discussed. The manner in which

these poets voices have been informed by their civilizations,

can be seen by depicting the manner these poets address their

civilization s concerns. It is apparent that the voice of Wendt s

poesy is informed by his Polynesian civilization, with his

concern of the manner that the Settlers have forced

Colonialism upon them. This is a position held by many people

because of the unfairnesss that occured with it. He indicates

this in his poem Colonialism: Independence. In this verse form,

Colonialism has attempted to model the indigens into the

same form as the Settlers, while rejecting their beliefs:

The palagi Governor, he teach

me the white face of his God

and Government.

I learnt that.

The palagi governor slyly attempts to acheive this by giving

him gifts, such as the stuffs to construct him a strong house

and the followers: Then the palagi Governor, he reward /

me with a musket. The over-persistence in which the

Governor is seeking to model the indigens into the form of

the colonists civilization is indicated: when he refused / for to

go forth my house. The indigens rebelliousness to the Government

seeking to determine him into person else is indicated: I shot

to him / and he is dead. ( p108 )

It is apparent in the poesy of J. C. Sturm, that she is besides

informed by Polynesian civilization, with her concerns for

them. In her verse form Maori to Pakeha it is apparent that she

is concerned with the colonists forceful colonialism. It is

asserted that the colonists have been colonizing excessively much

and that they do non belong ; while the Maori assert their

topographic point in holding every right to populate their manner on their land:

Where do you believe you re traveling?

You must be color blind.

Can t you see you ve strayed

Into another coloring material zone?

This is brown state, adult male

Brown on the interior

Equally good as the exterior

Brown through and through

The unfair manner in which the Europeans have colonialised is

described. The Maoris are being held confined by the

occupying colonists:

Meanwhile keeping me gently

Firm confined

Here, in the tight curve

Of your foreign arm. ( p75 )

Throughout the poesy of Taylor, it is apparent that he is

informed of Maori concerns, in that he besides addresses the

unfairness of the colonist s colonialism. This is apparent in the

poem The Womb. In The Womb the talker is the

native land, and is depicting the manner in which the colonists

bust uping it ; this is addressed in the followers:

Your fires burnt my woods

go forthing merely the charred castanetss

of toara imou pine and New Zealand Dacryberry

Your Big Dippers like the fingernails

of a adult female scarred my face

It seems I became a domestic giant. ( p101 )

Taylor addresses the concerns of Maoris, besides in the manner

that the langauge and civilization of Maoris is deceasing. This is

evident in the verse form Sad Joke on a Marae. In this verse form,

the talker is Maori but the lone Maori words that he

knows is Tihei Mauriora ; connoting that the linguistic communication is


though I said nil but

Tihei Mauriora

for that s all I knew. ( p99 )

In his verse form Taiaha Haka Poem, he implies that Maori

civilization has become unreal. It is implyed that there is no

longer any genuineness or spirit to their cultural imposts ;

but merely fictile maoridom. So, Maori civilization has been

reduced to simply aesthetics with no psyche:

I am the taiha left among people

who dance and kink poi

in gaudy halls

of fictile maoridom. ( p100 )

Taylor farther emphasises the loss of Maori civilization and

spirit in his verse form Te Kooti. The fable of Te Kooti with

his rebellion on the colonists and his puzzling spirit is

described as dead. In other words, what he is connoting is

that the spirit of the Maori people today is spent. This is

made clear in the undermentioned infusion:

Now the rocks are cold.

Te Kooti is dead

under incubus Earth.

We are ashes of his fire

dead a hundred old ages. ( p99 )

This can be farther elaborated, by discoursing the poesy of

Roma Potiki. Her poem Compulsory Class Visits

suggests that maori civilization is falling because their ain

people are being moulded into the form of the colonists:

and even the maori start to name themselves new

Zealanders. The lone involvement in maori civilization now merely

comes through mandatory category visits. Further, the category

visits are suggested as merely aesthetic, synonymous with

fictile maoridom:

at the powhiri they are directed to sing

there is no kaea there is no ihi.

keeping their documents, they look at the words –

Ao-te-a-roa. ( p9 )

It is now apparent, in the work of Albert Wendt, Apirana

Taylor, Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Hone Tuwhare, Keri

Hulme, Gloria Rawlinson, J. C. Sturm, and Roma Potiki,

that their Polynesian heritages to their poetical voices

are from their civilization s mythology, imposts, civilization,

and linguistic communication. Following this, their voices being informed

by their Polynesian civilization, has been shown to be from

their addressing of their civilization s concerns.


Bornholdt, O & # 8217 ; Brian, and Williams ( explosive detection systems ) . An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English. Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997.


A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper