Māori Health Research PhD Scholarship

Ms Kelly Tikao
University of Otago, Dunedin
Iho – a cord between two worlds. Traditional Māori birthing practices
36 months

Lay summary

"Iho - a cord between two worlds" an exploration of rituals pertaining to traditional Maori birthing practices and their application to birthing plans in today's context.
Ngati Kahu Kaumatua Pereme Porter was chosen at the age of 12 to cut the umbilical cords of the newborn babies in his village whilst reciting ancient karakia.
Pereme was a key character in my student film "Iho - a cord between two worlds". I have given a number of presentations about my thesis: Traditional Maori Birthing Practices to academic and community audiences.
Producing a body of work that addresses the imbalance and highlights birthing rituals at the same time this has the potential to aid and assist Maori communities to reclaim and rebuild this area of knowledge that has been forgotten by some hapu, remembered but not practised by others, and to support whanau Maori who still incorporate some tikanga into their birthing experience.

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