I te wa i a mea : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Maori studies at Massey University
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The title gives only an indication of the subject to be discussed. It reflects how the Maori thought with regard to time. Because such phrases lacked the precision of calendar dates, numerous Western historians sought to translate Maori chronologies into time units of their own reckoning. The result was the invention of several methods of dating based on genealogies. These methods are the central focus of this thesis. It is argued that they are both inaccurate and inappropriate for the recording of Maori traditions. Each method is trialed against the traditions and whakapapa of one hapu in order to highlight their inaccuracies. So obvious do these inaccuracies become that the reader is asked to consider their dismissal altogether. In place of the Western methods of dating the Maori method of referencing time is reconsidered from a Maori perspective. The Maori concept of time is contrasted against the Western sense of absolute time in an attempt to bring credibility upon Maori time references.
Māori chronology, Māori Masters Thesis