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Mate Māori - Kōrero Kaumātua
Project purpose: Mate Māori - Kōrero Kaumātua is a project within Te Puawaitanga o Ngā Tapuwai Kia Ora Tonu - Life and Living in Advanced Age: a Cohort Study in New Zealand (The LILAC Study NZ). The purpose of Mate Māori - Kōrero Kaumātua is to document the knowledge of Mate Māori held by the oldest old Māori (aged 80-90 years). The term mate is used for both sickness and death, with the context and the tense (the past tense indicates death and the present tense sickness). Te Rangi Hiroa distinguishes between sickness due to accidents – mate aitu; and mate atua – sickness due to malignant spirits. He believed mate Māori to be a term introduced more recently to distinguish sickness thought to be due to Māori causes from the diseases introduced by the Pākehā. The treatment of Mate Māori (mate atua) was the province of the tohunga. Mate Māori (mate atua) can only be understood in the context of Māori cosmology, the Māori world view and mātauranga Māori. In order to understand the meaning of mate Māori for modern Māori it is necessary to examine the subjective experience of mate Māori. Documenting modern Māori knowledge of mate Māori is important in itself, but is also relevant to Māori wellbeing. Recent research has shown Māori views of health differ from those of western psychiatry and are inextricably linked to mātauranga Māori and Māori world views. This finding has significant implications for clinical practice, however there is little documentation of mate Māori in the medical literature and with a few exceptions, most of existing literature is written from the western medical perspective. This project is an initial step in rectifying the current situation by listening to, recording and documenting the knowledge held by our oldest old tangata.
The programme of work to be carried out: The successful applicant will be fluent in Te Reo Māori and English, and liaise with the senior researcher group.
- A three day programme of orientation to Mate Māori - Kōrero Kaumātua and the overarching projects and training in the conduct of field work including interviewing
- Liaise with the community coordinator about Mate Māori - Kōrero Kaumātua and to select the six participants
- Conduct the interviews
- Transcription and translation of the interviews
- Check content with interviewees
- Conduct preliminary data analysis with senior research group
- Draft report and discuss with senior researchers and community coordinator
- Present final report to senior research group
- Present findings to the community in which the research was conducted
- Publish a paper about the research.
Day to day nature of the work: The day to day work of the intern will be carried out in a rural marae community which is participating in the two overarching studies. The project involves interviewing six kaumātua (three women and three men) about their knowledge of mate Māori. In the first instance the intern will make themselves known to the community through the local community coordinator for The LILAC Study NZ and explain the project to interested community members. They will liaise with the appropriate community member to ask kaumātua over the age of 80 years to participate in the project until three men and three women have been recruited. The intern will interview these six participants and audiotape the interviews, conducted in Te Reo Māori or English according to the participant’s preference. They will transcribe the interviews and work with the senior research group to analyse the interviews for main themes and narrative. The intern will prepare a report of the project.
Skills the student will learn
- The principles and practice of health research in the community setting; kaupapa Māori research; and qualitative health research
- The conduct of ethical health research
- About working in a multidisciplinary health research team
- Interviewing skills
- The management of research data including the analysis of qualitative data.
- Academic report writing
- Writing an academic paper
- About making an academic presentation.