Waikato Journal of Education


Indigenous philosophy
Pacific methodology

How to Cite

Matapo, J., & Enari, D. (2021). Re-imagining the dialogic spaces of talanoa through Samoan onto-epistemology. Waikato Journal of Education, 26(1), 79–88. https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v26i1.770


This article proposes a Samoan indigenous philosophical position to reconceptualise the dialogic spaces of talanoa; particularly how talanoa is applied methodologically to research practice. Talanoa within New Zealand Pacific research scholarship is problematised, raising particular tensions of the universal and humanistic ideologies that are entrenched within institutional ethics and research protocols. The dialogic relational space which is embedded throughout talanoa methodology is called into question, evoking alternative ways of knowing and being within the talanoa research assemblage[1] (including the material-world). Samoan epistemology reveals that nature is constituted within personhood (Vaai & Nabobo-Baba, 2017) and that nature is co-agentic with human in an ecology of knowing. We call for a shift in thinking material-ethics that opens talanoa to a materialist process ontology, where knowledge generation emerges through human and non-human encounters.



[1] The concept of assemblage developed by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) refers to a process of temporary arrangements or constellations of objects, expressions, bodies, qualities and territories that create new ways of functioning. The assemblage is a multiplicity shaped by a wide range of flows and emerges from the arranging process of heterogenous elements (Livesey, 2010).


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Authors retain copyright of their publications.