ABSTRACT. The marae and the institutions of tangihanga (funereal customs) have maintained and sustained the Maori language, its attendant culture and the Maori classical literature that survives today. On these occasions the Maori world view is given full expression in an authentic setting in the 21st century. Tangihanga (or tangi) therefore play an important role in sustaining Maori identity. This article provides an annotated account of the tangi process that demonstrates the Maori world view, gives examples of specific oral literatures from the classical Maori world, and notes educational aspects of how traditional Maori knowledge and language is transmitted and acquired during the tangi process. pp. 31–43

Keywords: funereal customs; indigenous knowledge; Maori culture; marae; oratory; tangihanga

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University of Auckland

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