People of indigenous tribes seem to know their connection not only to their family and community, but also to their land. How does a Western man know who he is? We get a glimpse of the differences in this video where speaker Tame Iti describes his connection, his mana, as he was maturing from boyhood to manhood in his colonized homeland. In his increasing maturity, he discovered his connection to the land and the people on a wider scale, to global issues.
From the TEDxAukland video on YouTube:
Tame explores how the old saying of “Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi” (Dealing with it eye to eye) creates a far more productive space for open dialogue around any issue.
Tame Iti (Ngai Tuhoe/Waikato/Te Arawa) is known as many things… Activist, Artist, Terrorist and Cyclist. Literally wearing his Tuhoe heritage on his face, Iti is hard to miss in a crowd despite being just 5ft 4″ tall. His 40 year history of controversial and theatrical displays of political expression have included pitching a tent on parliament grounds and calling it the Maori embassy, shooting a national flag in front of government officials and the curious spate of public meetings where he appeared with a ladder so as to speak eye to eye with officials who were seated on stage. Iti explores how the old saying of “Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi” (Dealing with it eye to eye) creates a far more productive space for open dialogue around any issue.
“No one can tell you that you are not important and your experience does not matter and if they do… I challenge them to say it to your face… where they can see your eyes and feel your breath.”
Editor’s note: While you may want to consider using the closed captioning, know in advance the CC is wrong in many places and it may distract you from carefully listening to the speaker.
“Your ‘mana’ comes from knowing who you are, where you come from, and your connection to your land, venya. Mana reach you to your past, present, and future. We don’t always have to agree. Mana can be tested, even challenged, but with respect and an understanding of one another’s mana. We are all equal, we are all on the same level, ka nohi, “Te ka nohi ki te ka nohi” — eye to eye. . .
“Don’t be afraid to challenge someone trying to assert authority over you. Just because someone has authority, doesn’t mean they have more ‘mana’. If someone is asserting their authority, they have to let go of respect and understanding to get their way, and you are no longer equal. . .“
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