Death by Metaphor and How Not to Use Them.

K.I.N. Knowledge in Indigenous Networks

Maori love themselves a good metaphor. And for good reason, it is a powerful tool that easily conveys layers of meaning and complex concepts in a very simple way. Metaphors not only create vivid pictures, but emotional reactions within the reader too. They help the reader to ‘get it’.

Traditionally, Māori were masters of metaphor and knew its magic. You need not look too far at all to find thousands and thousands of examples in the Māori language and the potent effect they have on communicating messages. Maori often draw from nature to construct their metaphors. Nature metaphors are powerful because of their ability to reach and connect with the masses. Everybody knows what rain feels like, or the uneasiness of rough waters.  For example, the lyrics from the famous song Pokarekare ana nga wai o Waiapu, the writers likens his love to the agitated waters of a river…

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