Check out this video with Pale Sauni and Saylene Ulberg
This is part of a series on Pacific Cultural Centredness:
- Understanding Pacific Cultural Centredness
- How talanoa can build relationships
- Le Va – Understanding the sacred space in Pacific culture – Part 2
- Fonofale – Part 1
- Fonofale – Part 2
- What is Pacific cultural safety – Part 1
- What is Pacific cultural safety – Part 2
- What is Pacific cultural safety – Part 3
Le Va: Maintaining the Sacred Space
Here’s a summary of this short talanoa with Pale and Saylene which is part of our short series on Pacific Cultural Centredness
Le Va is a term used to describe the sacred space in Pacific culture. It is a crucial concept that highlights the importance of maintaining relationships between oneself, others, the environment, and the divine.
This sacred space is significant for Pacific people, including the Maori, and its understanding helps to sustain harmonious living. The three spaces that make up Le Va are the sacred space between an individual and their God, the sacred space between oneself and others, and the sacred space between an individual and the environment.
If the sacred space is violated or damaged, it can be restored through a process called “teu le va.” This involves repairing the broken relationship and seeking forgiveness. Le Va is based on reciprocity, and the more one does for others, the more one’s space remains sacred.
For instance, if someone abuses their relationship with their spouse, they must seek forgiveness and make restitution. Apologies can be made on a larger scale, as demonstrated by the apology made for the dawn raids that occurred in New Zealand. Climate change is also a significant factor in the maintenance of the sacred space, and it is crucial to be responsible in how we treat the environment.
In conclusion, understanding Le Va is crucial in Pacific culture, and it helps sustain harmonious living. It is a way of maintaining the sacred space between oneself, others, the environment, and the divine. By following the principles of Le Va, relationships can be restored and harmony maintained.