In: Business and Management

Submitted By kassidyerin
Words 507
Pages 3
II. the Spirit of the thing given (Maori)

Taonga- in Maori culture is a treasured thing, whether tangible or intangible. * The taonga are, at any rate with the Maori, closely attached to the individual, the clan, and the land. * In a proverb collected by Sir G. Grey and C. O. Davis the taonga are implored to destroy the individual who has accepted them; and they have the power to do this if the law, or rather the obligation, about making a return gift is not observed. * Colenso: ‘they had a kind of system of exchange, or rather of giving presents which had later to be exchanged or repaid. * ‘I shall tell you about the hau. Hau is not the wind. Not at all. Suppose that you possess a particular object, taonga, and you give it to me; you give it to me without a price. We do not bargain over it. Now I give this thing to a third person who after a time decides to give me something in repayment for it, and he makes me a present of something (taonga). Now this taonga I received from him is the spirit (hau) of the taonga received from you and which I passed on to him. The taonga which I receive on account of the taonga that came from you, I must return to you. It would not be right on my part to keep these taonga whether they were desirable or not. I must give them to you since they are the hau of the taonga which you gave me. If I were to keep this second taonga for myself I might become ill or even die. Such is hau, the hau of personal property, the hau of the taonga, the hau of the forest. Enough on that subject’ * The taonga and all strictly personal possessions have a hau, a spiritual power. You give me taonga, I give it to another, the latter gives me taonga back, since he is forced to do so by the hau of my gift; and I am obliged to give this one to you since I must return to you what is in fact the product of the hau of your taonga.’ * the…...

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