WAI PASIFIKA INDIGENOUS WAYS IN A CHANGING CLIMATE
Pacific voices offer their wisdom from multi-layered traditions of connections with water. As the movement to regenerate takes hold, they offer perspectives and ways to a world that seems to have outrun itself.
This writing combines research of Polynesian wisdom and traditions yet pivoting off David’s 40 years of writing and oral history work, predominantly with Maori. The underlying themes are community responsibility, reverence and connection with water, concepts such as Matauranga Maori, mauri and mana whenua and a strong sense of place, of landscape and kaitiakitanga and its Pasifika equivalents. It includes encounters and reflections on water, against a global backdrop of the impending crisis in water, energy and climate.
David Young writes:
'This project began in my mind, when a Maori tohunga told me a story from the sacred realm of the wisdom. It was a narrative that differentiated waters from the mountains intrinsically, each according to its source.
Once again, such explanations being me up short by the reach and depth of indigenous knowledge, even in its modern outlines, often lying as it were in an excavation made up of shards and jaspers. It was also a reminder that science can be as wondrous as the explanations that come out of earth-rooted cultures. Polynesians, like Oceania generally, were in a state of heightened awareness of nature’s moods and inter-relationships, but in ways that took account of both their profundity and subtlety. Their’s was a whole world view and their place in it. Seen in this light, scientific knowledge is simply the ever-advancing scaffolding on the face of the deep unknown.'