If my tūpuna, Hoturoa, were to see me today, what would he see? Would he understand the language I speak, the tikanga I practice, the stories I share, or the environment I live in? Would he recognise me as a descendant of Tainui?  

What would my tūpuna, Hoturoa, see in this Modern Māori? Pūrakau which were traditionally passed down from generation to generation through haka, mōteatea, and arts now captured in the form of video, music, and literature. Communication and information so easily accessible, opening different ideas and new possibilities for Māori. Cultures and ethnicities are intertwined, weaving whakapapa Māori with others. The age of technology, how we teach and absorb kaupapa Māori is continuously changing. Face to face conversations, replaced by messenger, snapchat, Instagram and mobile. 

Instead of travelling long distances by foot to send messages or lighting a fire to create smoke signals, communication using smart phones makes it easier to not only send messages, but also capture emotions by way of emojis, and many other ways that was never once seen in the age of my tūpuna. Within the past decade, Te Ao Māori has changed massively. 

Sharing different tikanga, religions, and beliefs between one another to reshape the old and create anew.  Colonisation, wars, and suppression. These lead to the decline and loss of the treasures, stories, and practices of my tūpuna, which is no longer available today. I am a Modern Māori who is the product of Aotearoa’s past and my family’s history, I am a product of my mother, distant from my past and present. A product of my pāpā, a child of Māori and Irish descent and a firm pou of my whānau. 

A Modern Māori who wonders what I will see in the descendants I may have in the future… Would I recognise my descendant?  What would a Future Māori look like? Would I understand the language they speak, the tikanga they practice, the stories they share, or the environment they live in? What would I see in a Future Māori? 

I am a Modern Māori. 


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