further thoughts on Hori

October 1, 2009 § Leave a comment

A friend recently acquainted me with this guy.

Hori book

This books and others in the series are, according to Kowhai books “about “a well-fed, happily-married easy-going Maori” which first appeared in N.Z. Home Life and Home Companion”  in the nineteen sixties.

The image of a fun-loving happy Maaori with a beer in hand and the stories he could  tell were actually the work of a Pakeha, W. Norman McCallum.


While preparing for this speech I was discussing in my office ‘the old days’ as it was so nicely put by one of my younger staff members. We were discussing a cartoon strip that used to appear in the Sports Post on a Saturday afternoon and later in a book. The cartoon strip was ‘Hori and the half-gallon jar’.

The ‘Hori’ character was of course Maori, lived with his wife, mother in law and his children. Hori seemed to have two central loves, one was his love of food, and one was his love of the half gallon jar of beer, otherwise known as the flagon.

The purpose of cartoons such as ‘Hori’, I do not believe were ever just created to entertain. Stereotypes must be promoted and are usually promoted by those who stand to gain from creating those specific perceptions. Hori was promoted as a stereotypical Maori male, happy as long as he had a flagon within arms-length. Such a perception has added to the situation we face today as a country.

We must break down the stereotypes that have been created such as the ‘Hori’ character. Stereotypes do not assist us in dealing with people’s alcohol and drug problems and the impact on their families. Stigma attached to problems of this nature must also been broken down. This can occur as people become more aware and understand the way addictions can affect people.



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