- A Canadian beer company unwittingly named its beverage after pubic hair.
- “Huruhuru” is a Māori word that has several meanings. However, it is more commonly used to refer to the hair in a person’s genitals.
- A famous former TV-personality called out the beer company – and also a leather shop in Wellington – to inform them of the error.
- Both companies apologized. Evidently, they were not aware of the word’s informal meaning.
Huruhuru is a pale ale distributed by Hell’s Basement Brewery in Alberta. The company chose that Māori word for their beverage believing it meant “fur” or “feather” – – – adjectives that could probably best describe their beer.
However, the word has several other meanings, specially to the Kiwi indigenous community.
In a Facebook post, Te Hamua Nikora, a Māori living in New Zealand and a famous former TV-personality, specified what the word means.
Nikora called out the Canadian beer company and told them about their mistake.
Yes I know huruhuru means feather, fur and even hair of the head,’ he wrote.
I know this. But it is most commonly used as hair from a person’s privates.
He did the same to a leather shop in Wellington that adopted the word for their store.
Nikora also suggested non-Māori business to use their own languages to sell their products.
He said, “If you are selling leather, call it leather, don’t call it pubic hair unless you are selling pubic hair and don’t call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair.”
Both Huruhuru Leather Shop and Hell’s Basement Brewery apologized following accusations of cultural appropriations.
Mike Patriquin, co-founder of Hell’s Basement, said in an interview that he did not realize the term refers to pubic hair.
“To those who feel disrespected, we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer,” he said.
The Karakocs, owner of the Wellington leather shop, also said they meant no offence. They too, used the term knowing it meant “fur” or “feather”
“If we had been told by the Māori Committee there are two meanings, formal and slang, we wouldn’t have chosen this one at all,” Aynur Karakoc told Stuff.
She said the Intellectual Property Office ‘s Māori advisory committee gave them approval to use the name.
According to Stuff, Intellectual Property expert Thomas Huthwaite said that the purpose of the council is to verify whether the term would be used offensively, “not whether it might have some unfortunate meaning.”
Aynur Karakoc said they don’t have money to rebrand.
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