Indigenous methods of naming avifauna and its relevance in biodiversity reporting, monitoring and mapping

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 11 May, 2017 - 11:15
Abstract Key Words: 
Ethnozoology, knowledge of Elders, Biocultural Evolution
Author(s): 
Whaanga
, Hemi - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato
Scofield
, Paul - Canterbury Museum, New Zealand
Wehi
, Priscilla - Landcare Research Manaaki Whenua
Roa
, Tom - Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies, University of Waikato

Our names narrate our lives both lived and living and naming is a strong, entrenched branch of Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). Naming in Māori society is a relationship formulated on establishing and reinforcing connections, identity, and place through genealogy, between the person or group doing the naming and the thing being named.  Over the past 8 years we have been investigating naming protocols and Māori classificatory systems for flora and fauna. In this paper, we discuss processes associated with Māori naming systems, the relationship between indigenous based systems and the naming of avifauna in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the development of a protocol for the naming of birds in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We highlight the importance of increasing awareness of the cultural values behind species’ names, and its value, relevance and significance in biodiversity reporting, monitoring and mapping.