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Peoples-based Conservation: Transcultural practice in the conservation of Hinemihi, the Maori meeting house in the UK

Sully, DM; (2016) Peoples-based Conservation: Transcultural practice in the conservation of Hinemihi, the Maori meeting house in the UK. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research links the daily life of heritage conservation with broader concepts of the reality of the world. The concept of being-in-the-world is applied to reform the divisive categories of modernity and scientific reality in force as the Authorised Heritage Discourse. This approach reveals that heritage conservation’s focus on past places and objects evolves out of the event of making heritage from contemporary spaces and things. This challenges the concept of heritage and its conservation as being anything that is ‘real’, and seeks to relocate the power of reality to the lives people who participate in heritage conservation as a place-event. The relationships between places/objects/people in the making of heritage are investigated to reveal how they are made operative in the conservation process, and vice-versa. This is explored through adapting Maori Kaupapa in conserving Hinemihi, the Ngati Hinemihi wharenui (meeting house) at Clandon Park. The ‘perturbation’ represents an examination of the possibilities of transcultural practice, utilising alternative frameworks of understanding to challenge the universalised assumptions of heritage conservation. This grounded research acknowledges both the agency of the participants in the process and the role of heritage in the lives of the people, whose cultural spaces/things heritage practitioners claim the right to manage as heritage places/objects. The research data generated are the result of a heuristic process through ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, participatory practice, direct observation, interview, and collective discussions. The outcomes advocate for a shift in conservation practice from a specialist technical service aimed at preserving heritage, to an innovative process in the creation of the world. This enables heritage conservation to address the social issues of the present in making a humane future, rather than merely seeking to fix the past. This institutes new understandings of conservation practice, by prioritising the relationships between people, places, and objects as the primary responsibility of conserving heritage.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Peoples-based Conservation: Transcultural practice in the conservation of Hinemihi, the Maori meeting house in the UK
Event: UCL
Language: English
Keywords: Heritage, conservation, transcultural, decolonisation, Maori, meeting houses, New Zealand, National Trust, Clandon Park, ethnography
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482120
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