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Intern Research Report 9 - Puhi: Memories and experiences in their ceremonial role in traditional and contemporary Māori worlds

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Author(s): Ariana Simpson

Journal: MAI Review
ISSN 1177-5904

Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: aristocracy | female | Māori leadership | puhi

ABSTRACT
According to early writers, Puhi are described as the treasured daughters of chiefs, were of high rank, endowed with aristocracy, and fiercely protected and respected by the tribe. They were renowned for their beauty, their courage and leadership. Although very little information and knowledge on the function and the role of Puhi is available, information has been sought from early and contemporary writings, tribal narratives, oral histories and memories and experiences of women in their ceremonial role as puhi in traditional and contemporary times. Of interest for this research is the value and belief system in which the role and function of Puhi has survived and exists today, given that in today’s society, Maori women and their children are the primary victims of domestic violence in Aotearoa. This research aims to identify and highlight the importance of kotiro in traditional and contemporary times and to provide a clearer understanding of Puhi by documenting and recording experiences, memories and early writings.
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