The Hau of Kai Hau Kai
the practice of intergenerational reciprocal exchange
Keywords:Kai hau kai, Intergenerational, reciprocal exchange, hau, utu, kaitiakitanga, Indigenising our food sources, mahika kai, te taiao
Kai hau kai is a practice of reciprocal obligation which can be misunderstood and seen as a primitive or archaic form of familial exchange. In reality kai hau kai is more fluid and organic and is a continuing embedded form of economic, political and social cohesiveness that is practiced today and involves the ability for rich geographical resources, narratives and practice to be shared inter-regionally. In many cases, kai hau kai is often relegated to primitive bartering systems. This article explores kai hau kai practice and the reciprocal responsibilities that are foundational to intergenerational knowledge transfer of mahika kai practices.
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