Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Maori cultural in Potiki

Patricia Grace's Potiki tells the story of the Te Ope tribe of Maori natives inhabiting New Zealand during a period of European colonization that facilitated "contact points" between the two differing cultures. The Te Ope people value their cultural traditions that epitomize Maori culture. Grace emphasizes the Maori's reverence of nature and a profound sense of community that enables the Te Ope cultures to overcome hardships due to the prevalence of group unity. Many members of Te Ope society embrace their traditional values and cultural aspects. However, the persona of Toko embodies the motif of dual cultural values due to his mixed ethnic composition. Joseph and Mary give birth to Toko and establish the dynamic of a character who demonstrates a dualistic cultural identity. His ambiguous background suggest he possesses mixed blood as half European and half Maori. His racial identity parallels the amalgamation of European and Maori cultures in a historic "contact point" between cultures. Another prevalent aspect of the novel is Grace's usage of carpentry and structures as a metaphor that represents the complex history and traditions of the Maori people. The houses and various wooden structures represent the longevity and sustainability of their culture. The wooden structures represent the preservation of the Maori culture and tradition as it continues for generations of Maori to come. The Te Ope place a high degree of value on their cultural traditions and many adamantly resist the presence of colonial influence in their homeland.

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