Having been offline for a few days due to illness and general technical incompetency, it’s great to get back and read the discussions around this session.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Lisa’s very interesting comment that she is wary of the term ‘mythology’ because when associated with indigenous practice the inference is that one is dabbling in fantasy and not with fact. Mythology is certainly a loaded and problematic term, bringing with it a certain amount of exoticism and the ‘other’. In defining something as mythology it can relegate it to a domain which is alluring but not considered authentic.
(Which reminds me of viewing Gabríela Friðriksdóttir’s exhibition at the Icelandic Pavillion at last years Venice Biennial, an installation drawing on a range of Icelandic myths and including a video of Björk as a fertility goddess giving birth to something yucky. Afterwards I talked to an Icelandic artist who said ‘international curators only want to show Icelandic work about Nordic mythology with Björk in it somewhere – it’s another way of keeping us as the freak show’.)
However, given that, what I do like about it as a term is that it includes an acknowledgement within itself of the many layers/slants of truths within any retelling of history. Isn’t all fact partly fantasy? Nina’s discussion on the mythologies of ancient Nordic tribes reminds me that The Kalevala, the Finnish epic legend originated from traditional oral folk poems, is what Tolkien based Lord of the Rings on, which then came to be seen as a definitive English tale, and which can now be seen as, depending on whose eyes you look through, either a truly New Zealand tale or an American one….mythologies AND histories are constantly shifting / being co-opted.
I’m also enjoying thinking about Lisa’s
comment that ‘Maori thought can collapse time’ which Danny also
feed into with his comment that ‘
te tuhi - the mark
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