Authenticating Māori Physicality: Translations of ‘Games’ and ‘Pastimes’ by Early Travellers and Missionaries to New Zealand
Hokowhitu, Brendan (2008) Authenticating Māori Physicality: Translations of ‘Games’ and ‘Pastimes’ by Early Travellers and Missionaries to New Zealand. International Journal of the History of Sport, 25 (10). pp. 1355-1373.
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This paper theorizes how knowledge of indigenous tribal epistemologies was made ‘knowable’ through Enlightenment rationalism in an early colonial context. Specifically, the paper determines how and what knowledge of Māori tribal physical activities was interpreted and authenticated through early travellers’ tales and missionaries’ accounts in New Zealand. The central thesis argues that what was established as authentic and truthful aligned with Enlightenment rationalism, while those Māori physical practices incomprehensible to Western understandings were deemed inauthentic and, consequently, were obscured and/or discarded. Throughout, the article theorizes the translation of knowledge into meaningful Western discourses and how these translations came to be crystallized in the colonial imagination.
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