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A challenge: Do we know our Māori history?

Can you name more than two iwi or the story of their arrival in New Zealand? When did the migrating waka arrive and how many were there? Many New Zealanders are likely to know more about Queen Victoria and Henry VIII than they do about the history of New Zealand’s tribes.

Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History, published by Bridget Williams Books with support from Auckland Museum, charts the sweep of Māori history from ancient origins through to the 21st century. Through narrative and images, it offers a striking overview of the past, grounded in specific localities and histories.

BWB received support from the Auckland Museum towards the creation of Tangata Whenua. The Museum also assisted in aspects of the research for the book, allowing for greater access to their archives, manuscripts, objects and pictorial collections with input from the curatorial team.

Fifteen stunning chapters bring together scholarship in history, archaeology, traditional narratives and oral sources. A parallel commentary is offered through more than 500 images, ranging from the elegant shapes of ancient taonga and artefacts to impressions of Māori in the sketchbooks and paintings of early European observers, through the shifting focus of the photographer’s lens to the response of contemporary Māori artists to all that has gone before.

The many threads of history are entwined in this compelling narrative of the people and the land, the story of a rich past that illuminates the present and will inform the future.

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For more information Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History visit Bridget Williams Books

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