This Tagata Tangata episode looks at the ideological struggle between Western economies and Polynesian traditions. The commodification of land and culture changed the livelihoods of Polynesian peoples, as they moved from self-sustaining to mass production. Māori were forced from their homelands to the cities, and Samoans headed to Aotearoa for work. A common victim mourned among Polynesian peoples is their native language. Loss of communal living meant massive loss of language and customs. But a generation on, those dedicated to the old ways of life fight for justice and for change.
Palikapu’s struggle to uphold the knowledge of his ancestors, in a world that does not value it, is a reality we in Polynesia all face. We live in a changing world — te ao hurihuri — where the modern world and that of our ancestors are seldom compatible. For us, this means cultural adjustment, compromise and more often than not, sacrifice and loss.– Tagata Tangata narrator and co-writer Ramona Papali'i