What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?
Communicating research and mātauranga through informative and engaging comics.

These resources are based on research by Priscilla Wehi, conservation scientist and Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini. In an exciting new collaboration with illustrator Giselle Clarkson, a series of comics have been created, based on the Indigenous knowledge of ecology embedded in the names of one of New Zealand’s common trees – Carpodetus serratus.

The Marbleleaf tree has different te reo Māori names in different part of the motu - Putaputawētā, Kaiwētā and Piripiriwhata, which has led to interesting discoveries about their different relationships with insects such as wētā and the pepetuna moth.

The comics are written in both English and te reo Māori and can be downloaded using the link above, and you can also access the scientific paper on which the comics are based.

This research comes from what is known as a 'two-eyed seeing' approach to science. That means it combines Indigenous knowledge with "Western" scientific techniques to get a more complete picture. For this study scientists talked with iwi knowledge holders and searched historical manuscripts for information.