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Gapatia i le maliu ma le tagiaue: Examining customs that support Samoan men through bereavement

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Byron Seiuli
Health issue:
Wellbeing (autonomy self-determination)
Proposal type:
Pacific Health PhD Scholarship
Lay summary
This is a PhD application and the applicant is based at Waikato University and is from Samoa. The fundamental question underlying this study is, 'how do Samoan men make sense of and respond to health bereavement within the New Zealand context?' This study titled 'Gapatia i le maliu ma le tagiaue: Examining customs that support Samoan men through bereavement' examines and describes customs and cultural practices engaged by Samoan men - in the context of the aiga - in response to bereavement. It will involve an exploration of Samoan beliefs about death and afterlives; Samoan death rituals; how death impacts on the aiga in New Zealand and Samoa; it explores personal narratives of experiences of loss and grief, and makes visible pathways journeyed by participants that helped them in re-engaging in normal life routines. To achieve this, the applicant will engage Samoan men in a series of individual narrative interviews (talanoa fono) about their experiences of bereavement and loss and grief in New Zealand and Samoa. The rationale behind this study is the devastation left by the tsunami for Samoa and Tonga in September 2009 where it deeply affected Samoan people. The focus on Samoan men emerged for the applicant due to conversations with grieving family members who wanted to know how they could support their men through the grief process. Associate Professor Linda Waimarie Nikora and Professor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku are the supervisors from the Waikato University.