Book Chapter

Te Arai: Re-addressing the space of grief, bereavement and lamentation

CM Brown, C Koroneho

Undisciplining Dance in Nine Movement and Eight Stumbles | Cambridge Scholars | Published : 2018


In New Zealand, the word for stage, atamira, is also the word for a platform where the dead were ritually attended to in pre-colonial times. For pre-European Māori the boundary between the living and the body of the deceased were more complex than in the contemporary Western model of funeral rites. The body of the dead went through a process, overseen by Tohunga, that involved not just decomposition, but also recomposition. In his Tua o Te Arai performance research, Koroneho returns to the customary space of the atamira, where the body of the deceased was part of a ritual recomposition through practices of te hahunga (exhuming and cleansing bones). Koroneho’s research seeks to re-affirm, ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers