Tackling Māori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport

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  • The primary aim of this paper, then, is to deconstruct one of the dominant discourses surrounding Māori men—a discourse that was constructed to limit, homogenize, and reproduce an acceptable and imagined Māori masculinity, and that has also gained hegemonic consent from many tāne. I outline and focus on those historical racist notions of Māori masculine physicality that have developed into a contemporary portrayal—the natural Māori sportsman. To problematize this construction it is necessary to examine the racially based traits, such as physicality, imposed on tāne in the precolonial and early colonial periods, and the role New Zealand State education has played in perpetuating this construction. I describe sport as a site of “positive” racism that acts as a contemporary conduit to channel tāne into the physical realm. [Article Introduction]

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    Article (Published)
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    © 2004 Brendan Hokowhitu. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited. *** This license can be used for any item that the copyright is not clear (i.e. when a Creative Commons license has not been chosen or no specific information is listed about what the user can do with the work).
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    • Hokowhitu, B. 2004. ‘Tackling Māori Masculinity: A Colonial Genealogy of Savagery and Sport’. The Contemporary Pacific, 15 (2). 259-284.