Rethinking Oral History and Tradition

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Nepia Mahuika
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Indigenous peoples have our own ways of defining oral history. For many, oral sources are shaped and disseminated in multiple forms that are more culturally textured than just standard interview recordings. For others, indigenous oral histories are not merely fanciful or puerile myths or traditions, but are viable and valid historical accounts that are crucial to native identities and the relationships between individual and collective narratives.

This book challenges popular definitions of oral history that have displaced and confined indigenous oral accounts as merely oral tradition. It stands alongside other marginalized community voices that highlight the importance of feminist, Black, and gay oral history perspectives, and is the first text dedicated to a specific indigenous articulation of the field.

Drawing on a Maori indigenous case study set in Aotearoa New Zealand, this book advocates a rethinking of the discipline, encouraging a broader conception of the way we do oral history, how we might define its form, and how its politics might move beyond a subsuming democratization to include nuanced decolonial possibilities.