Whakarongo, titiro, korikori kōrero ki ngā wāhine – exploring embodied and reciprocal healing relationship with our natural environments

Pae Ora

Pātai Puāwai

Māori (and Indigenous) women engage in embodied relationship with the natural environment in a range of ways, such as raranga, rongoā, or physical activity.  This research will explore what these embodied relationships can teach us about the potential for reciprocal healing between wahine and whenua, person and place, by developing a network of Māori and Indigenous women and prioritising mātauranga wāhine. 

The project will conduct wānanga and active conversations with wāhine to understand how they engage physically in place and explore traditional and contemporary mātauranga wāhine that can inform potential healing relationships. This research aims to explore the knowledges (kōrero tuku iho) that are centred around wāhine, their embodied connection to te taiao, and the healing potential that lies in a reciprocally beneficial relationship – one that our tupuna would have intrinsically been aware of and active participants in.   Using questions developed from huahuatau in Heke (2022), the research will explore the impact of wāhine and their embodied relationships to places and spaces of significance, and further explore how engaging with te taiao can influence the way we care for te taiao and how it can care for us. 

The project will be the start of a much-larger project aimed at building a network of Māori and Indigenous women’s narratives and practices around nurturing and sustaining te taiao, land, country, place, and subsequently nurturing and sustaining ourselves.   

Research Lead(s) and Team  

Dr Deborah Heke 

Professor Helen Moewaka-Barnes 

Meretini Bennett-Huxtable   

Dr Melissa Vera  

Lillian Bartlett  

Project commenced: