Ola faʻamanuia: Living well

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Authors
Leung-Wo, Javerron Angelina
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Degree
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Grantor
Unitec, Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2023
Supervisors
Potauaine, Semisi
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Samoans in New Zealand
health facilities
well being
Samoan medicine
indigenous delivery services
architecture for health
cultural identity
Samoan architecture
Pasifika
Citation
Leung-Wo, J.A. (2023). Ola faʻamanuia: Living well (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec, Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6281
Abstract
RESEARCH QUESTION How can architecture support the preservation of traditional Samoan healing and medicine as a means of expressing cultural identity? ABSTRACT Since the arrival of the first Europeans in Samoa during the 1800s, western influences have co-existed alongside the fa’a-Samoa (Samoan way of life and living). Traditional Samoan healing is one of many things the fa’a-Samoa have been impacted by, since their arrival. Traditional Samoan healing (and medicine) includes herbal remedies and special fofō or massage to treat various illnesses and ailments, and in some cases, including witchcraft. For the Samoan people who live in New Zealand away from their home country, it is harder for them to maintain the fa’a-Samoa way. Over 100,000 Samoan individuals and families within New Zealand are not exposed to strong cultural values and practices. Some seek relief with traditional healing and medicine, yet it is not easily accessible or is challenging to find. Traditional Samoan healing continues to be an essential way to treat illnesses and ailments many people encounter. This standard practice is unique and sometimes varies from healer to healer, embodying cultural values and heritage. No public facility currently provides this unique service in Auckland City, where the largest number of Samoan individuals and families reside. Traditional Samoan healing contains intangible but strong cultural values and beliefs. It can inform and encourage the Samoan people to learn about their cultural heritage within New Zealand. Unfortunately, this unique practice is in danger of disappearing. It will eventually form a disconnection between Samoans and their culture within New Zealand. The potential disconnection presents a risk of disconnection from their culture. This project aims to utilise architecture to preserve traditional Samoan healing practices and medicine and assist Samoan individuals in learning about their cultural identities. A traditional Samoan healing facility will bridge the gap to bring the Samoan community together and encourage learning about a sacred practice that strongly thrives in the home country of Samoa. Preservation methodologies, cultural elements and values, and healing practices are analysed, so significant ideals are architecturalised to provide a facility to serve the Samoan community and everyone in New Zealand.
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