Friday, May 29, 2015
Thursday, May 28, 2015
This seems to be a thing with tour guides on this trip. In a separate incident while touring Parliament yesterday, a different guide actually yelled at a poor girl from our class when she paused to use the restroom before the tour even started. Later, the same guide badgered my colleague, a staunch feminist, over Wyoming's decision to grant women the right to vote.
To be clear and fair, this guide was very much in favor of women's suffrage, but his point seemed to be that New Zealand had led the world on this score by becoming the first country to grant women the right to vote as opposed to being merely a state. My colleagues position was that Wyoming's decision on women's suffrage was actually done under "false pretenses." Now that I think about it, I suspect they were talking past one another.
Nevertheless, fireworks ensued and we all enjoyed the festivities, albeit a bit awkwardly. The name "Te Papa," according to our tour guide is derived from the Māori words for treasure and basket. As a result, the museum fancies itself as a treasure basket of sorts, or to put matters less obtusely, the home of the nation's treasures.
At Te Papa, one of the more interesting parts of the collection was the Māori "meeting house," or wharenui in the photo above. This particular wharenui was actually stolen (or "confiscated" to quote our guide) from one of the New Zealand tribes as a showcase piece for visitors to Parliament as luck would have it. Perhaps our guide from Parliament gave the tours.
For the indigenous scholar in me, all of this, of course, begs the question of whether the museum is actually a home to the nation's treasures or a safe house for the country's plunder.
Tomato, tomāto, I suppose.
In all, it was a lovely visit to the museum. It's no Smithsonian but the coffee was nice even if the tour guide wasn't.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Monday, January 12, 2015
In my discipline, we often talk about the unique connection that American Indians have to their lands. And I think that's right.
But on days like today, as we prepare to depart and return to the regular business of busy and hectic lives, I wonder if we're only discussing half of the issue in the relationship between native peoples and their lands.
For my view, any attachment to place has to be coupled with the family/friends/loved ones who are there. Without relationship, a place is just a place. Land is just land.
But when one adds in family, and friends, and loved ones, and multiplies this across the generations, an attachment to lands makes a lot more sense.
In a way, we call this attachment, "home." And leaving home is always a hard thing to do.
A blog created by Tory
Pax Plena has been providing organic, free-range thought since 2004. And me? Well, I'm just your average, coffee-addicted, American Indian, Republican, academic. Post-Doc @UWYOAIST. The thoughts here are mine alone and should not be attributed to my employers, colleagues, or any other sentient being.