First published between 1887 and 1890, this multi-volume chronicle of Maori history and culture was one of the first books to record the oral narratives of the indigenous people of New Zealand. The project were commissioned by the New Zealand government in 1879 when it was observed that, due to the introduction of European culture and education, tribal lore was dying out. The material was collected and recorded by John White (1826-91), an ethnographer and public servant who had been well versed in Maori language and customs from an early age. The stories were printed in both Maori and English. Volume 6, published in 1890, contains additional narratives about the Tainui migration and describes wars both between Maori tribes and against Europeans. It concludes with detailed genealogies of gods, ancestors and humans that were traditionally recited in ritual contexts such as births or burials.
Title: The Ancient History of the Maori, His Mythology and Traditions Vol 6
Author: White, John
Publication date: 03/11/2011
Publisher: Cambridge Library Collection