For centuries, Vanuatu’s indigenous people have not owned their land but served as its custodians, relying on it for bountiful livelihoods and taking care of it for future generations. Destroying that system in favour of a colonialist “ownership” model would disrupt communities and cast Vanuatu’s indigenous people into a permanent underclass.Advertisement
Westerners think of land as a commodity to be bought or sold, parcelled out under deeds that confer ownership rights.
But in Vanuatu, land is held communally. All native people – the Ni-Vanuatu – have an inalienable right by birth to use and enjoy their traditional lands. Under Vanuatu kastom, these rights cannot be sold off and alienated permanently.
To redress the legacy of colonialism under which the Ni-Vanuatu lost control of substantial tracts of land, the writers of our constitution re-affirmed the rights of the people over their lands: “All land in the republic belongs to the indigenous people and their descendants forever”.
This constitutional safeguard has not been enough. As outside developers and investors have discovered our country, the Ni-Vanuatu are again being dispossessed to make way for “development”.
Drunken Māori Grammar Lesson with Jamie!
Kia ora tātou! Anei tētahi akoranga mō ngā kupu ahua.
Hi guys! Here’s a lesson about stative verbs.
They are horrible at first.
Since Māori doesn’t use verbs such as ‘to be’ (i.e. am, is, are), we have to use statives!
Here are some points
- A stative verb describes the state of something (stative = state! HOW GENIUS).
- All stative verbs are intransitive (i.e. they don’t take an object).
- They can also be called neuter verbs (though that’s a complex term and asdfghj).
- I am drunk = Kei te haurangi au.
- Kei te is the TAM (tense aspect mood marker) for the present. Haurangi is the stative verb meaning ‘to be drunk’. Au is the subject, in other words, me!
- To mark the causer of the state, you use ‘i’ (versus active and passive sentences, i.e. transitive verbal phrases, where ‘i’ marks the object, e.g. ka patu au i te kurī/ka patua te kurī e au = I will hit the dog/the dog will be hit by me).
- Kei te haurangi au i te waipiro = I am drunk due to/because of alcohol.
- A lot of transitive verbs can also be stative, such as mate, which can mean to die (active/passive because when you use this, the subject is dying/will die), or to be dead (stative, because the subject is dead).
- To turn a stative into a transitive, you often use the prefix whaka- in front of the stative, e.g. maringi means to be split, whakamaringi means to spill.
And here’s a brief introduction to te ao wetero Māori (the world of Māori grammar).