Sunday, August 30, 2009

Waka Huia

I'm Marinus, a South African who is a graduate student in philosophy and has lived and studied in New Zealand for a number of years.

I've created this blog at the start of my study in Europe in pursuit of a scholarship in applied ethics, largely to have a place to record various things relevant to my year of study there.

The name comes from a type of artefact made by the Māori, where waka is a canoe or container, and huia a type of bird whose feathers were and remain very valuable ornaments, though it is now extinct. A waka huia is an oblong, richly carved wooden box in which head-ornaments are kept, and is the most valuable type of treasure-box for the most precious items, on account of the head being the part of the body that garners the greatest respect. I'm hardly a New Zealander, and not Māori at all, but the image of a canoe for the treasures of the head as a chronicle of my study abroad is simply too fitting to resist.

My screen-name comes from a little short story, They're Made out of Meat by Terry Bisson, which does as good a job as anything else I can think of to drive home what it means to deny that there is anything more to human beings than our physical material.

The image in the header is of a waka huia in Te Papa (the national museum of New Zealand).

No comments:

Post a Comment