Potiki Research Paper HISTORY 202Critical ReviewPotikiLaura Essay

Potiki Essay, Research Paper


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Critical Review


Laura Tongi


June 16, 1999

Professor Inglis

Brigham Young University -Hawaii Campus


Land, to many of us, is a topographic point of growing and development. When the Pakeha, or

white adult male, saw the fertile land of New Zealand, he saw chance and investing to

do more money. But did the Pakeha truly cognize what land is to those who live as though

their land is everything they had? Of class, they must hold known that land is cherished to

them, but did they recognize merely how cherished land was to the Maori? s? Land was life to the

Maori people, and if it was destroyed, it meant that the land needed to be renewed with new

life. The land and life was sacred and immortal.

The novel, Potiki, explained in different points of position what the land meant to the

Maori people. Roimata made it clear that, ? & # 8230 ; the land does non belong to people, but that

people belong to the land? ( 110 ) . She viewed the land as a sacred agency of life reclamation. She

even said that everything in clip was a? now-time? . The past and the present were merely

named for convenience, but when all was one, and all had an influence on each other ( 39 ) .

Toko said that his male parent, Hemi, explained that, ? the land and sea was our whole life, the

adult males by which we survived and stayed together. Our whanau is the land and the sea.

Destroy the land and sea, we destroy ourselves? ( 98 ) .

Immortality is an freedom from decease, or everlasting life. In the Maori? s universe,

nil of all time died. This was exemplified through the carvings of the wharekai, or meeting

house. When a individual from the whanau, or household of the land, died, they were remembered

in the carvings of the wharekai. A good illustration of this is Toko, who was a halt male child

that died inside the wharekai. His statue was one with an oculus to the land and an oculus to the

sky. The fish that was near him was another illustration of immortality in itself. When Toko

had caught the fish, after it was cleaned, the remains were buried under the passion fruit tree

whose vines grew tremendously over the old ages subsequently. This symbolizes that the decease of

the fish was non truly a decease, but a reclamation of the life of the vine, and giving life to the

people whom would eat and portion the gracious sea offering.

The Pakeha insistently bribed, so tried to destruct their rival? s land and panic

them off. They thought it was a good chance for the Maori people. Of class, to the

Pakeha, the Maori? s were still merely savages seeking to do a populating out of nil. The

job with the Maori people is that they were merely excessively obstinate to portion a portion of their

land for the growing and development of a new installation that could do the people that own

that land a really big net income. What the Maori people did non understand was that

land is

money, and to allow that land travel to waste is a waste on humanity. After all, the Pakeha were

offering to travel their meeting topographic point and graveyard, and repair the roads at no cost to them. To

the Pakeha, there was no ground for declining this generous offer. So, because of their refusal,

and the despairing demand for the land, the Pakeha decided to frighten the Maoris off the land.

The Pakeha did non see the fact that Maori land was Maori life. If they wanted to take

the land, they had to besides take their lives.

The Pakeha did non to the full understand the Maori belief of immortality of life. This is

why the people of Te Ope challenged the authorities infinitely for the repossession of their

lands after the World War II from Britain. Although the lands were non to the full repossessed,

they had what they needed, and began to reconstruct their life with the land. When the

dollarmen came once more offering money for the growing of the land, it was obvious to the Maori

people why they could non sell it. When offered a monetary value, the Maori boldly said about giving

up the land, ? We give it to you and we fall through. We? re slaves once more when we? ve merely

merely begun to be free? ( 95 ) .

To the Maoris, even in decease, there is life. When there was a funeral, it was non a

sorrow for the dead ; it was a jubilation of life. An illustration of this came when the Pakeha

had made a channel for the H2O to the graveyard, deluging the Gravess of the dead. The

people of the whanau gathered, and Toko explained, ? as we began to tangi for all that had

happened, and for household long gone and late gone, but who were amongst us still & # 8230 ; we

had told our narratives and said our dreams into the land? ( 120 ) . The harm was non the

most of import factor to the Maoris, although some of them wanted Utu ( retaliation ) on the

Pakeha. What truly mattered was to accommodate the land with life, and to idolize and

acknowledge that there was no terminal to the life.

The land was non merely to cultivate and utilize for the Maoris. The land was their sacred

duty to continue because of a? now-time? or a clip that the ascendants of the whanau

had an influence on them. Their ascendants were non of the yesteryear, they lived inside of the

whanau, and inside of the land. Roimata said, ? Good can come from what is non good, good

can come from sorrow, new life from old & # 8230 ; all that we need is here & # 8230 ; ? ( 159 ) . The Pakeha had a

program to construct the land to? ? benefit? non merely ourselves but everyone, all of you [ the

Maoris ] every bit good? ( 89 ) . Because they were despairing for that land, they destroyed the graveyard

and the wharekai in hopes of frightening the Maori off. The Pakeha could non destruct the life

that was indestructible: the land. The Maori could ever reconstruct, and the land could recover

its birthrate. The life that was everlasting will ne’er be destroyed.

Mention: Grace, Patricia. Potiki. University of Hawai? one Press. Honolulu: 1986


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