Story: Whānau – Māori and family



Whānau can be an entity in its own right, or an entity within a larger collective. The heads of whānau may be brothers and sisters, who as their whānau have grown, have become heads of new, separate entities. Each new whānau may have three or four generations. They are all connected to the collective whānau by their common whakapapa. Although each whānau operates independently, the wider whānau come together for tangihanga, weddings or other occasions.

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How to cite this page:

Tai Walker, 'Whānau – Māori and family - Whānau, whakapapa and tribal structure', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 May 2024)

Story by Tai Walker, published 5 May 2011, updated 1 Jun 2017