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Both singular and plural in Maori[edit]

Iwi, Hapu and Whanau, like many Maori words are both singular and plural. - Deteted comment about plural forms. -- kiwiinapanic 14:06 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Ping wrote and later removed.

Nice custom[edit]

One very nice custom that recognizes the different Iwi is often seen at weddings and bithday parties. Because of intermarriage and a knowledge of relationships going back gnerations it is known that at any Maori social gathering there are likely to be many different Iwi represented. When the cake is cut, birthday cake, wedding cake or whatever, it is divided into slices. The names of the different Iwi and Hapu are then recited and a representative of the Iwi is invited to come forward and accept the slice of cake on behalf of their people. All they have to do is sing a song, any song. For the Iwi known as Ngati Pakeha this can be very difficult but it is fully in keeping with traditional custom.

Ngati Pakeha is stretching things a bit? Tiles 08:10 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes; almost to breaking point. But Ngati Pakeha do get called on to perform in the cake ceremony. I have been so described many times, or Ngati Kotimana if S is with me. Thinking about it a bit more deeply, given the amount of Maori-Pakeha interbreeding perhaps it is not inappropriate, it is taking one of the major social groups in New Zealand and redescribing it in Maori terms. I don't expect that view point to be acceptable to many!! Ping 08:17 17 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Taking the analogy further you would then identify Hapu? Say, Scottish, Irish, Dutch,Samoan, Tongan etc? I'm inclined to agree that the classification may not be generally acceptable in which case how would you express in a NPOV? Tiles 00:16 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Too dificult, I restored the original version. Ping 07:35 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I thought the "cake ceremony" was a good way to refer to "Ngati Pakeha" as a way Maori related to other "tribes" without implying that there is a distinct iwi of that name. Maybe you have thrown out the baby with the bathwater Tiles 07:52 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I was trying to be PC thinking maybe the Iwi take themselves a bit more seriously and, just maybe, cake ceremonies might be non-encyclopedic. Ping 08:23 18 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I have heard "tauiwi", meaning "heathen" or "gentile", used to describe the race of the "Pakeha"; also Ngati Wikitoria (from Queen Victoria), but not Nagti Pakeha, only Pakeha. Ping, I think your observation of customs and ceremonies has some merits but not in the Iwi article. Perhaps an article on Maori Ceremonies or Maori Marriage Celebrations might be more apppropriate. But how often have you seen this ceremony occur; is it a common one for a whole culture or just a tradition of one family? -- kiwiinapanic 07:18 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It is standard practice at weddings and birthday parties in Northland, it happened more often than not at Marae all over the north although I cannot speak for anywhere else in NZ, maybe it is only a local custom. The Pakeha were usually called on last, frequently the only representatives were myself and family, and we were always called on as Ngati Pakeha or sometimes Ngati Kotimana. But it was always a bit of a joke, to make sure we didn't feel left out, a matter of courtesy really. I am sure it is not a traditional Maori ceremony and on consideration, I agree with you that it does not belong in an article on Iwi which is why I deleeted it. Ping 07:45 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The main pages says: "Note that each iwi has its own territory (rohe), and that no two iwi have overlapping territories." I have a question: If a river changes course, eg the Whanganui. And the different banks "belong" to different iwi/hapu. Who gets the bit of land that has changed sides of the river. On river flats this amount of land can be substantial. Does the method vary from iwi to iwi? N

My edits[edit]

The article was kind of contradictory. On the one hand it asserted (wrongly) that in pre-European times iwi = nation, and while it may be true that to some extent today iwi might at times be thought of as a superlarge collection of tribes, I wonder how much it is true to call it the largest 'everyday social grouping' without mentioning that such 'groupings' are pretty much symbolic rather than practical most of the time. And, a look at the way the term iwi is used in the examples mentioned in the article shows that most of them have exactly the same sense as tribe, and if you interchanged the terms, the meaning wouldn't be changed. Probably needs more work Kahuroa 10:37, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Verifiable evidence provided for use of a 'nation'-based definition: I have amended the definition to reflect the existing reference used (Ballara) and undertook bibliographic research to find a further four sources which support this claim. As indicated in her work, Ballara does use tribal terminology but is critical in its use. Her preference is 'peoples' or 'nations' and uses the latter throughout the book as an pairing with 'tribes'. There are countless alternate references available which equate 'iwi' with 'tribe(s)', and Ballara has shown their weaknesses. --Te Karere (talk) 08:58, 20 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The translation used on Wikipedia should reflect a consensus in reliable/academic sources. If "countless references" translate iwi as "tribe(s)" (AFAIK most do), then Wikipedia needs to as well – or at the very least these translations should be mentioned together. Should Ballara's usage become more widespread, then our translation can be changed accordingly. But until then, we can't represent the preferences of one or a handful of historians as being "more correct", regardless of how well Ballara makes her point. Liveste (talkedits) 12:11, 21 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the idea of grouping the major "tribe" references together and can start with Best as he's the one Ballara references. I'll add on Richard Taylor and John White as the founding references - any others that use the term are generally referencing sources that are quoting from translations made by one these - and S. Percy Smith and Te Rangi Hiroa (Peter Buck) who complete the major ethnologists. I think posing concepts as non-fixed entities (as is the case here, where the translation has changed across time) is a stronger position for Wikipedia than posing it as one thing. Knowledge, particularly that which is socially-constructed like Wikipedia's, is continuously being contested. Assuming a fixed definition risks obsolecence. Your feedback has been very helpful. --Te Karere (talk) 20:34, 21 November 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did "traditional" iwi actually fuction?[edit]

Anyone who has read widely about "traditional" Maori life before say 1880,will be struck by how seldom ,if ever, the word iwi appears at all, in any context. By far the most common unit mentioned is hapu. There is another really common unit that is talked about at length and that is the gathering of people, usually mainly adult men, from widely scattered areas, who come together for the purpose of war or to discuss or plan war. Often the men come huge distances and in a wide variety of size groupings. Sometimes they are close relatives, sometimes distant relatives sometimes they are united more by an obligation to the host group,sometimes by fear of a host group. Often the men appear to turn up more for the chance to take part in a war to increase their personal mana than because of a close "iwi" relationship. There does not appear to be a name, or at least a common name, for this time of grouping or alliance. Because this type of grouping was so common it was quite straight forward for the Kingitanga to put together an entirely new Pan Maori organization in the 1850's and 1860's. This type of grouping was far more commen than the more notional iwi. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]