Homosexuality, Ihimaera, Witi Tame -- 1944-, Maori (New Zealand people) -- Social life and customs, Mormons


Recent artists like Norwegian Recycling and E-603 have created a new genre of art within music: digital recycling. These artists take many different well-known and less-known lyrics, music, and spoken word and combine them together. This meshing of multiple pieces of art has new historical roots. The different images, auditory and visual, that these creations produce and often enhance meaning and connections through popular media. These connections interest me most. Through the lenses of post-colonial, gender, and queer theories, I examine Witi Ihimaera's creative work. I splice in different theorists' words, my own thoughts, and images to enhance and accent Ihimaera‘s ―Singing Word‖ (Juniper Ellis 170). According to Ihimaera, the written word and the ―novel is alien to the indigenous form, and that where Maori are going now is probably where it‘s most natural, and that is into theatre or into poetry…and oral storytelling‖ (Ihimaera 170). As the first published playwright in New Zealand and as an English professor at the University of Auckland, Witi Ihimaera is a role model and leader to many other Maori and New Zealand playwrights and writers. I am most interested in understanding what and how he has been influenced as an artist. I craft a document that extends the idea of a written word in a Maori context, in which I explore the major influences on Ihimaera as a theatrical creator and influencer of other Maori artists. Chapter one introduces Witi Ihimaera and my methods. Chapter two includes my research on the Maori culture with the following subsections: the people, their traditions, and their paternal systems of power. Chapter three is my research on the influx of Pakeha authority highlighting the Mormon take over and how that affected author and playwright Witi Ihimaera. iv Chapter four is my research on how Ihimaera‘s homosexuality has influenced his creations and the contemporary Maori Performance. Chapter five contains my conclusions of the connections I find. In addition, I use examples from Witi Ihimaera‘s fictional novel The Uncles Story, as well as many other of his plays and novels, to show examples of influences from Maori culture, Mormonism, and his homosexuality on Ihimaera‘s work.


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Graduation Date





Wood, Vandy


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities










Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities