Animals of Aotearoa: Kaupapa Māori Summaries
This article summarizes Māori knowledge of a selected range of animals through the literature as a first step in undertaking research into the potential of incorporating Māori concepts into animal ethics topics for senior school and post-school biology education. This article is based on a critical Māori “reading” of existing literature, a writing process that both collects and analyzes data from available records, examined through a Kaupapa Māori (i.e., Māori-centered lens). The scientific category of “animal” does not exist in te ao Māori (the Māori world), so the approach taken below is to give an introductory synopsis of Māori knowledge of a sample of animals of Aotearoa, mindful that Māori “knowledge” includes and embeds a Māori understanding of ethics. This summary of Māori knowledge of animals is presented in six sections: kurī (dog), kiore (rat), manu (birds), ika (fish), ngārara (reptiles), and aitanga pepeke (insects/invertebrates). Key points emerge about Māori knowledge of animals, including a final point reflecting on the nature and status of a synopsis, a genre of particular relevance to Kaupapa Māori scholars studying Māori knowledge.