For several years I have been inexplicably drawn by the esoteric mysteries in life and through these erudite journeys, I inevitably end up at the beginning; by this I mean immersed in whakapapa and creation narratives. All that exists in the Universe seems to be embedded in indigenous mythologies. Having periodically, either through personal research, through learning waiata (song), whakaoriori (lullaby) and karakia (incantation) or from tribal hui (gatherings) gained knowledge of Ngāi Tahu whakapapa (genealogy) the more interesting it becomes. The stories that can be ‘read’ from these narratives intrigue me, inviting me to explore them more deeply and because I am a playwright and theatre practitioner, I am prompted to ask, how can the polysemous interpretations of the ancient Southern Māori Rarotimu whakapapa and creation narrative be integrated in a staged performance, namely, Rarotimu Revisited? Therefore, this paper seeks to address this question and at the same time probes the possible interpretations, arranging them so they can be presented and ‘read’ by a further audience. Utilising past, current and imagined understandings of the narrative, a research whānau will hui and create a metaphoric performance that does not seek to reproduce any literal versions of the narrative. However, under the guidance of a co-ordinator they will amalgamate the versions of, and ideas generated by the whakapapa, and condense them into a public performance production.

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