Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
THE STORIES OF BANKS PENINSULA: CONNECTING MAORI ORAL TRADITIONS, EUROPEAN HISTORY, AND GEOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
For generations, indigenous oral traditions have been misinterpreted and neglected from academic disciplines. Throughout the late 20th and early 21st century, autochthons’ spoken words have gained recognition in the modern world, because ethnographers understood the importance of history and symbology in oral traditions. By recognizing this significant discovery in cultural studies, this study will link the New Zealand’s South Island Maori iwi, Ngāi Tahu, oral traditions to the geology, ecology, culture, and history of Banks Peninsula. The purpose of this study is to construct three lenses for how the Maori used oral tradition to interpret the historical and scientific data of Banks Peninsula. The first section will describe how the Maori understood the volcanic history of Banks Peninsula through their oral traditions and the peninsula’s connection to the North Islands’ traditions. The second segment will discuss why the landscape of Banks Peninsula was suitable for the Maori by comparing oral tradition and ecological and geological details. The last section discusses how Maori oral traditions capture natural phenomena and how closely related are the cultural explanations to historical and scientific interpretations. Connecting the South Island’s Ngāi Tahu’s oral traditions, European historical accounts, and scientific data, will inform others of the cultural, historical, and geological significant areas of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand.