My Mountain

We had a guest speaker in one of my classes today who does research in New Zealand. After her presentation, she talked a little bit about New Zealand’s unique research requirements, particularly those involving the Maori population. Before any of her research studies can be approved, among other things, she must attend a Maori meeting and discuss how the study will affect and include the Maori population. And she has to do this in their native language (which she doesn’t speak), so she has to memorize translated scripts.

When we asked her to say a few words in Reo (the language of the Maori), she said she can only remember part of the greeting she usually does. Apparently, whenever you introduce yourself in Maori culture, they want to know where you’re coming from. She was taught to start out by honoring those present (both physically and spiritually) and then introduce herself by identifying her mountain and her river, then discussing her ancestors. Further research indicates this is normal. So I’ve been thinking about my Maori introduction.

My mountain is Sentinel.
My river is Clark Fork.
My tribe is Missoula.
My sub tribe is Seattle.
Obama is the chief.
My marae is a kitchen table.
I am Mego.

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Filed under About Me, Too Cool for School

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