Māori health research development grant (2018 funding round)

Dr Mera Penehira
University of Auckland
Hinemoana: Our ocean narratives
6 months

Lay summary

'Hinemoana: Our ocean narratives' will scope a research project that documents the narratives of Māori, Hawaiian, and Rarotongan women who paddle waka ama/outrigger canoes and/or have engaged with voyaging va’a, and explore women’s engagement with waka/va’a as a ‘cultural practice’ rather than simply a sport or leisure activity. ‘Hinemoana’ will make explicit the underlying cultural elements inherent in these practices and consider how this influences indigenous women’s identity and cultural, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. Intersections of gender, identity, wellbeing, sport education and culture will be central to this work. Waka ama has been one of the fastest growing sports in Aotearoa in the past 10 years, having undergone a major revival since the late 1990’s (Eketone, 2002). Prior to this paddling had largely ceased to be practised in Aotearoa for many decades. By contrast it has always been a part of the landscape (seasape) in both Hawaii and Rarotonga.

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