Why Māori are reclaiming their indigenous names

Because of colonisation many Māori chose to adopt Pākehā names and give their children English names to avoid punishment for using te reo and the mispronunciation of their ingoa. 

Now, a new generation of Māori are choosing to reclaim, adopt and celebrate their Māori names. 

Re: News spoke to six tangata Māori about the story behind their Māori name, what it means to their identity and what it took to reclaim their indigenous ingoa.  

“My nan, my koro, was that generation that were beaten for speaking Māori and not wanting to use their own gifted Māori names. That's just a passed down trauma,” Aroha Harris says. 

“I decided to use my ingoa Māori when I had begun Takiura and was in full immersion te reo Maori. That safe space gave me the kaha and the encouragement to whakamana my ingoa Māori. It just feels more me. It's a funny thing to explain, I get quite emotional.”

Correction: this article was changed at 10am February 7, correcting the word emission to immersion.

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