The He Manawa Whenua Indignous Education Conference was my first experience in participating in a conference with translation. I think it’s a really interesting concept and I noticed that my notes looked more like poetry as a way to make sense of translations that were then re-translated, ear to brain to hand.
One of the keynotes, Professor Pon Teinara spoke only in Maori and he shared his mo’olelo of growing up in the bush. I found him to be so profound, and I wish I could have understood him in his own language. Lost in translation.
He showed us a picture of his parents, beautiful, young rebels who set out to live a different lifestyle. To move away from the city and live out in the bush. This is not them. This is a hale from the Bishop Museum, but it gets the point across.
Wisdom is the daughter of experience (Da Vinci)
The house is telling us stories
of the old world.
Some may think it’s a picture of poverty
but it is a search for knowledge
in a world of silence
We went to the bush to be free
How free do you wish to be?
What are you willing to do for this freedom?
What can you give up?
Do not ask senseless questions.
Sometimes the academic mind can trouble you.
I will give you everything I know
but the world waits for you
there is new knowledge out there
come out of the mist
come into the light
do not stay in the past
great knowledge has come from there
but you cannot stay
create new knowledge
to live in the world of now.
Who will fill your shoes?
Why would I want to wear someone’s old shoes?
You get the knowledge
but you may also inherit the unpleasant smells
Let us not sit in the shadows of our teachers.