Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Te Papa has decided to abide by some cultural edict imposed by some Maori over pregnant and menstruating women not being allowed near an exhibition of some Maori treasures.

Apparently these women shouldn't be allowed near things that have been used in battle because the are sacred and any breach of that could invoke a curse.

What pathetic mumbo jumbo. That sort of thinking belongs back in the time when women wore grass skirts.

While it is important to discuss the lore of the past , its behoves on us to ensure that such practices are not continued except for health reasons.
Blogger Deborah Russel from the Hand Mirror sums the issue up nicely,

"I don't understand why a secular institution, funded by public money in a secular state, is imposing religious and cultural values on people.

"It's fair enough for people to engage in their own cultural practices where those practices don't harm others, but the state shouldn't be imposing those practices on other people."

Margaret Mutu says that women arent allowed on the beach or in the garden when they have their period.

Shit I wished I had known about that on the Muttonbird island. Might have got out of getting a feed of paua, or working if I followed that ancient edict. Personally I have never heard of it.

Nor the stuff about staying out of the kitchen. I have always done the cooking - period.

But then them North Island fullas do have some mighty strange ways that they still want to practice today which makes them even stranger really.

You see being on the beach in the old days or even in the garden makes sense re hygiene but in this day and age that sort of imposition is archaic.

And down south we got rid of a lot of silly practices like keeping slaves, eating people, and killing people and stuff.

Times have changed and Maori have a habit of only changing the ways that suit them. Makes them look and feel important.And this sort of mumbo jumbo is designed only to protect the mystique of the ancient ways which in their day may well have been appropriate but are now just a bloody insult to our intelligence.

So this ones for Margaret Mutu.

Silly old bint.


Anonymous said...

Moreover, consider what such a rule means for museum staff! Most museum workers in New Zealand are female and this rule places their male colleagues in a superior position. Some Museums say that it is all about "Treaty Obligations" when they tell staff that only males may handle 'masculine' Taonga such as taiaha, while women may handle 'feminine' Taonga such as kete.
Museum staff have to comply, such is the pressure to be 'culturally sensitive'.
Imagine the anger by local iwi if they had to wait a week to see a 'male' Taonga because the one male staff member was on leave!

CW said...

I read this story and instantly thought of my beloved grandmother. She received a QSO and a CBE for services to education and the community, was a life member of the Country Women's Institute and a founding member of the Maori Women's Welfare League. She dedicated her life to helping people do better in life - most particularly young Maori women. This same woman insisted on weeding my uncle and aunty's vege garden when my aunt was pregnant.

John Gibson said...

Rather like banning Jews from viewing WW2 Nazi relics. Absolutely ludicrous.

Surely any 'evil spirits' resident in the relics could leave the exhibition space and wander around till they found a fetus to kill ?

Anonymous said...

Gosh, Te Papa being submissive to cultural cringe. Well I never.

The place is like Rainbows End anyway. I never liked how they have debased our European history.

Maggie Mutu is an utter munter. She can take her all wise, all knowing spiritual hoodoos and shove them.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! I'm raised Maori and have never heard of this mumbo jumbo rule (other than for when carving was taking place). It's no doubt a rule of some half-brained 'kaumatua', employed as a 'cultural adviser' and backed up by wahine who should bloody well know better eh Margaret (it's akin to the 'no trousers for karanga' anachronism). Come on Maori, there is no justification for this nonsense in today's age. We look pathetic trying to justify it in the media. And I'm a staunch Tane, who loves the gender roles played in powhiri, saying this.