Whose interests do these representation serve?
Now that the representations have been established, the important question is how they relate to the Maori today and who's interest its serves.
In the article, "Maasai Warrior Troupe Visits Poole," the efforts of Maasai to raise money from Westerners for their village in Kenya is discussed. Maasai warriors put on two performances in Dorset:
“They will perform their tribal song and dance and showcase their culture….John Curtin, Osiligi Charity Projects trustee, said: ‘The troupe's performances are stunning and leave every audience totally elated and enchanted, having enjoyed an unforgettable experience. The singing and movement, like the Maasai's way of life, are in perfect harmony and the jumping, for which they are famous, is mindboggling.’”
Although the intention is to raise money for childhood education, the act elicits the gaze between the Western audience and the Maasai performers. The Maasai also play into the interests of Westerners and emphasize aspects of their culture that please and attract the Western audience. In doing so they perpetuate the stereotypical representations.
This is also the case with other groups that put on cultural performances. For the Maori, the haka is an essential aspect of every cultural performance, which helps to emphasize the warrior aspect of the culture. Although these two aspects or behaviors are part of Maori culture, they are not the essence of the culture.
Thus, specific aspects of the culture are selected for the performance by the performers. It thus seems as though the Maasai and Maori have selected cultural aspects that Westerners would desire to see, which confirms David Spurr’s idea that news media express Western ideals and then that these ideals are portrayed by the culture to attract Westerners. It makes sense that Westerners want to see what they have been told they are going to see. If the performances portray Maasai or Maori culture differently than the news media, a massive contradiction would take place and it is my assumption that the tourists would be disappointed.
Thus, I make the conclusion that the Maasai and the Maori play into the news media representations to attract Western viewers. It then seems like a cyclical reinforcement of the news media representations influencing the cultural performance content and then confirming the news media representations.