This article is underpinned by the simple question of what knowledge is produced about Māori men and why. In particular, it deconstructs the invention, authentication, and re-authentication of "traditional" Māori patriarchy. It begins by examining how Māori patriarchy was invented and authenticated through the hybridization of Māori and British masculine cultures, especially through the early colonial education of a select few Māori boys, who were subjects of a British public schooling technique. The article draws from this historical analysis to demonstrate how Māori patriarchy continues to be authenticated in today's popular culture. Here, the contemporary re-authentication of Māori patriarchy is drawn attention to through a deconstruction of the film Whale Rider. This film analysis argues that Whale Rider deploys a dangerous conflation of representation and reality, which ultimately re-authenticates the invented tradition of Māori patriarchy. The article is less concerned with denouncing particular tropes of Māori men as "false" and more with how such "truths" have come to be privileged; it also seeks to uncloak the processes that produce Māori masculine subjectivities.


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pp. 115-141
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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