Reclaiming the Past, Building a Future: Maori Identity in the Plays of Hone Kouka

William Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hone Kouka's historical plays Nga Tangata Toa and Waiora, created and produced in Aotearoa/New Zealand, one set in the immediate aftermath of World War I, and the other during the great Māori urban migrations of the 1960s, provide fresh insights into the way in which individual Māori responded to the tremendous social disruptions they experienced during the twentieth century. Much like the Māori orator who prefaces his formal interactions with a statement of his whakapapa (genealogy), Kouka reassembles the bones of both his ancestors, and those of other Māori, by demonstrating how the present is constructed by the past, offering a view of contemporary Māori identity that is traditional and modern, rural and urban, respectful of the past and open to the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalTheatre Research International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2001


  • Maori culture
  • Hone Kouka
  • theatre
  • collaborative process
  • marae
  • whare whakairo,


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