Maori and Sign Language

Dr. Rachel McKee

In a fascinating international story, a New Zealand Sign Language expert is advocating for more “Maori gestures in sign language” because more deaf Maori are starting to feel to be more included in Te Ao Maori, or the Maori “world”.

Dr Rachel McKee states that since the arrival of sign language interpreters in New Zealand has led to more access to tikanga Maori domains. Tangata turi means “deaf people” have been coming up with more gestures that expressed words or concepts in Te Ao Maori. Thus, this means that deaf Maori are getting more comfortable going to places where Te Reo is being spoken.

Yet, the language itself is still evolving and still needs to take time before Maori gestures as well as deaf Maori become more comfortable with Maori concepts.



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