Sunday, 11 December 2016

Book Review : Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori / by Don Stafford


Tangata Whenua: The world of the Māori

Don Stafford was a local to Rotorua and a historian to the city and he presents an authoritative but easily understood account of the history of the New Zealand Māori.

A broad diversity of topics is examined with information drawn from tradition, myth and history.

He starts with the migrations of the Polynesian people and moves to the story of Kupe. The communal living of Māori in iwi and hapū is explained through protocol, custom, connection to the land and connection to each other.

He includes the legend of a well-known love story between Hinemoa, a beautiful chieftainess who lived at Ōwhata  and Tūtānekai a handsome young chief who lived on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua.

He showcases carvers, weavers and includes artwork by Gottfried Lindauer and Charles F. Goldie. Throughout, the author presents both traditional illustration and contemporary photographs that successfully support the text.

For Māori and non-Māori this is worth reading and for those local to Rotorua, there may be someone that you recognise within these pages.


You can find this book in the Māori non-fiction section at 305.8994 STA

Review by Ani Sharland. Heritage and Research Team Leader