August 13, 2021
Hi tech comb sparks smoke stop talk
A stop-smoking tool for expectant mothers that combines Tikanga and technology is having a more than 90 per cent success rate among Waikato wahine.
Patrick Salmon developed Heru Mama as part of his Master of Applied Indigenous Knowledge studies at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.
He says growing up in Te Teko, heru or combs were given to pregnant women in the whānau to help them get over the baby blues.
He’s developed a heru with embedded technology that interacts with a mobile phone app to call up traditional cultural knowledge.
He says unlike pamphlets or lectures about not smoking, the gift of a taonga makes for a compelling cultural experience.
“Whānau were sharing it saying ‘hey, mum, check this out,’ taking it out of their hair, putting it down on the floor, and it becomes a conversation, creating new conversations, new narratives, new dialogue in the community and especially when it comes to the smoking part,” Mr Salmon says.
He says his heru shows how cultural narratives can be used to heal.
Copyright © 2021, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com