Whatuora: Theorizing "New" Indigenous Research Methodology from "Old" Indigenous Weaving Practice

  • Hinekura Smith Te Rarawa tribe University of Auckland
Keywords: Indigenous methodology, Māori weaving practice, decolonising research, women’s art research practice

Abstract

Despite Indigenous peoples’ deeply methodological and artistic ways of being in and making sense of our world, the notion of “methodology” has been captured by Western research paradigms and duly mystified. This article seeks to contribute to Indigenous scholarship that encourages researchers to look to our own artistic practices and ways of being in the world, theorizing our own methodologies for research from our knowledge systems to tell our stories and create “new” knowledge that will serve us in our current lived realities.

I explain how I theorised a Māori [Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa New Zealand] weaving practice as a decolonizing research methodology for my doctoral research (Smith, 2017) to explore the lived experiences of eight Māori mothers and grandmothers as they wove storied Māori cloaks. I introduce you to key theoreticians who contributed significantly to my work so as to encourage other researchers to look for, and listen to, the wisdom contained within Indigenous knowledge and then consider the methodologies most capable of telling our stories from our own world-views.

Author Biography

Hinekura Smith, Te Rarawa tribe University of Auckland

Hinekura Smith is a Māori woman, teacher, weaver, researcher, mother and daughter who descends from tribal lands in the far north of Aotearoa New Zealand. She has over 20 years experience as a Māori educator, beginning her career as a Māori language teacher, before moving into Māori medium professional development, tertiary lecturing and research. Hinekura completed a Master of Education on Māori students succeeding “as Māori” followed by a doctoral research project about woven cloaks and living as Māori womenHer current research interests weave together Māori identity politics, decolonizing education and Indigenous arts-based research methodologies. Hinekura is a lecturer at the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at The University of Auckland.

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Published
2019-02-27