People of the Land

Title: People of the land: A Pacific philosophy

Author: Patterson, John

Publisher: Dunmore Press

ISBN: 0864693672

By the author of Exploring Maori Values. This book argues that there is a uniquely Maori philosophy of environmental ethics, and that many aspects of it are worth adopting by all peoples. It is a comprehensive overview of Maori environmental philosophy with a good introduction to basic Maori concepts. Accessible writing, intended for an adult audience but may be suitable for senior secondary students. See the attached file for a guide to specific chapters.

Chapters of note:

Ch. 1 ‘People of the land’ (pp.13-24)
Useful summary of main points made in the book. Contrasts the differences between historical Maori and European philosophies of land ownership.

Each chapter tends to explain a key Maori concept, followed by a discussion of how this concept fits into the broader scheme of environmental philosophy:

Ch. 2 ‘Cousins of the trees’ (pp.25-48) Interrelatedness and kinship

Ch. 3 ‘Whose world?’ (pp.49-62) Tapu – Sacredness of the natural world

Ch. 4 ‘The Unity of Life’ (pp.63-75) Mauri – common life-force

Ch. 5 ‘Friends and foes’ (pp.77-94) Compares how the idea of having ‘respect’ for the environment is treated differently in Maori and Western environmental ethics

Ch. 6 ‘Making Mana’ (pp.95-110) Discusses the elusive concept of mana, sometimes thought to be the ‘highest ideal’ for Maori.

Ch. 7 ‘A Logic of Love’ (pp.111-130) Aroha – This chapter says that to be more loving and co-operative towards the entire human and non-human world is the best way of increasing overall mana.

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