1 results for Anderson, Robyn Lisa

  • The decolonisation of culture, the trickster as transformer in native Canadian and Māori fiction

    Anderson, Robyn Lisa (2003)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The trickster is a powerful figure of transformation in many societies, including Native Canadian and Māori cultures. As a demi-god, the trickster has the ability to assume the shape of a variety of animals and humans, but is typically associated with one particular form. In Native Canadian tribes, the trickster is identified as an animal and can range from a Raven to a Coyote, depending on the tribal mythologies from which he/she is derived. In Māori culture, Maui is the trickster figure and is conceptualised as a human male. In this thesis, I discuss how the traditional trickster is contexualised in the contemporary texts of both Native Canadian and Māori writers. Thomas King, Lee Maracle, Witi Ihimaera, and Patricia Grace all use the trickster figure, and the tricksterish strategies of creation/destruction, pedagogy, and humour to facilitate the decolonisation of culture within the textual realms of their novels. The trickster enables the destruction of stereotyped representations of colonised peoples and the creation of revised portrayals of these communities from an indigenous perspective. These recreated realities aid in teaching indigenous communities the strengths inherent in their cultural traditions, and foreground the use of comedy as an effective pedagogical device and subversive weapon. Although the use of trickster is considerable in both Māori and Native Canadian texts, it tends to be more explicit in the latter. A number of possibilities for these differences are considered.

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