Te Awa Atua : Menstruation In The Pre-Colonial Maori World

ISBN: 9780473259662

Author: Ngahuia Murphy    Publisher: He Puna Manawa

Te Awa Atua is a ground-breaking study of menstruation in pre-colonial Maori society. Many early ethnographic accounts of menstrual rites were distorted beyond recognition by the colonial lens of their authors, yet their misinterpretations continue to be accepted as authoritative. This book is a challenge to that authority. By examining stories about menstruation located in Maori cosmologies, tribal histories, oral literatures, ceremonies and rites, Ngahuia Murphy argues that menstruation was seen as a medium of whakapapa (genealogy) that connected Maori women to their pantheon of atua (deities). Ancient rites, recorded in tribal songs and chants, reveal that menstrual blood was used for psychic and spiritual protection. These examples unveil striking indigenous constructs of womanhood that radically challenge notions of female inferiority and menstrual pollution.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 180

Dimensions: 160 x 225 mm

Availability Date: 20-08-2022

Tags: January / February 2023   Health & Wellbeing   History   New Zealand

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