New Zealand Maori Culture – Oral Storytelling

Oral StorytellingNew Zealand carries a rich heritage with its indigenous people. More than 1,000 years ago, the Maori people came to New Zealand from the tropical Polynesian islands. Over time, the Maori culture evolved in New Zealand until they adopted their own distinct race, apart from other Polynesian people; the Te Maori. Throughout these years and up until today, traditional oral storytelling has been an important part of the Maori culture. The Maori culture relied heavily upon the successful transmission of unwritten stories passed down through the ages with oral storytelling practices.

Oral Storytelling – Maori Culture

Oral storytelling is where history, religion, myth and art come together. The myths and heroics of their gods are brought to life with extravagant performances drawn from song, chants, props, traditional garb and more. It’s a very deeply emotional experience to witness a traditional Maori storytelling.

The most critical components of Maori oral storytelling often involve the delivery of voice, gestures and facial expressions which convey the tone and emotion surrounding the story. Telling a story was almost never direct, but a drawn out and complicated process, often involving many speakers. The responsibility to preserve and pass down these culturally important stories rested on the shoulders of everyone in the Maori community.

The Marae Meeting Place

Oral storytelling was often performed a traditional tribal meeting place, such as a central building or open area in the village. It was an important place and new guests would often be welcomed in with a song (the karanga).

One Response to “New Zealand Maori Culture – Oral Storytelling”

  1. Yaledi Bawalagga

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    Greetings from Uganda. My name is Yaledi Bawalagga and I am a teacher at Shepherd Primary School. I have been a teacher for the last ten years and I have had a great experience regarding the factors that contribute to students’ failure to conceptualize with what their teachers teach them.
    I have been a teacher only in schools serving low income group communities whose children suffer a number of disadvantages that greatly influence their levels of concentration and finally the rate at which they understand.
    Basing on the simple survey, I and a team of teachers twisted the mode of teaching to integrate story telling. For the short period of time, we have registered remarkable benefits for these students. The level of perception and interest for learning has improved. It is against this background that we have chosen to contact you for a working relationship to enable us best integrate the program into reality.
    We have proved that story telling enriches the students so much and we believe if we worked alongside a team of experienced people from Storytellers, we would benefit to a great deal.

    I will be so much delighted to hear from you soon.

    Thanking you in advance,

    Yaledi Bawalagga.


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