Maori tales of the unexpected
The New Zealand television series Mataku as Indigenous gothic
in Globalgothic
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This chapter explores the New Zealand television series Mataku, an example of Maori culture that adopts foreign approaches and acts as a transcultural form. The series reveals much about the global nature of the gothic, where contemporary culture and modern media practices present commercial arenas for Indigenous perspectives and superstitions to merge with more advanced horror traditions. American cinema has demonstrated the broadest and most explicit appropriations of Indigenous cultures for the creation of gothic screen fiction. The Strength of Water foregrounds Maoritanga, and it captures the wild landscape and crashing seascape of the Hokianga region in Northland, near the top of New Zealand, where many Maori reside. This is another isolated community within which some inhabitants feel trapped, and into which a young drifter, Tai (Isaac Barber), arrives and moves into an abandoned home, only to act as a catalyst for the tragedy.

Editor: Glennis Byron


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