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Maori Collection

History Archive - Maori Collection

The M?ori are the indigenous Polynesian people of mainland New Zealand. M?ori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of waka (canoe) voyages between roughly 1320 and 1350.

Over several centuries in isolation, these settlers developed their own distinctive culture, whose language, mythology, crafts and performing arts evolved independently from those of other eastern Polynesian cultures. Some early M?ori moved to the Chatham Islands where their descendants became New Zealand's other indigenous Polynesian ethnic group, the Moriori.

The arrival of Europeans in New Zealand, starting in the 17th century, brought enormous changes to the M?ori way of life. M?ori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between M?ori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted.

Rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s, and massive land confiscations. Social upheaval, and epidemics of introduced disease took a devastating toll on the M?ori population, which fell dramatically. By the start of the 20th century, the M?ori population had begun to recover, and efforts have been made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society and achieve social justice.

The first European explorers to New Zealand were Abel Tasman, who arrived in 1642; Captain James Cook, in 1769; and Marion du Fresne in 1772. Initial contact between M?ori and Europeans proved problematic and sometimes fatal, with Tasman having four of his men killed and probably killing at least one M?ori - without ever landing.

Captain Cook had conflict with some Maori who were known to have slaughtered and eaten British sailors accompanying him on his voyage. Cook's men shot at least eight M?ori within three days of his first landing, although he later had good relations with M?ori. Three years later, after a promising start, du Fresne and 26 men of his crew were killed. From the 1780s, M?ori also increasingly encountered European and American sealers, whalers and Christian missionaries. Relations were mostly peaceful, although marred by several further violent incidents, the worst of which was the Boyd massacre and subsequent revenge attacks.

Available Books


Image Name
A group at Te Aro Pah, Port Nicholson
A Tiki at Raroera Pah
e Amotutu. A young chief of Nga-Ti-Pou Tribe
Ko Nga Waka Te Karaka, (or Clark), the Christian Chief of the Nga-ti-Wacroa Tribe, Waikato and Wakauenuku, his attendant boy
Ko Tariu. a chief of Taupo, with his wife
Te Awaitaia and Te Moanaroa: Waingaroa
Monument to Tewhero's favourite daughter, at Raroera Pah, near Otawhao
Typical Portraits of the New Zealanders (6 figs)
Honi Heki and Patuone
Te Werowero, or Potatau. The principal chief of all Waikato
E Rua, E Pari and E Hoki, women of Ngatitoa Tribe, Cook's Strait
Ornamental Carvings in Wood (7 figs)
Book Display
Tomb of the late chief Huriwenua, Queen Charlotte's Sound
A Tangui, or Meeting of Friends, Mount Egmont in the Distance
Scene in New Zealand Forest near Porirua
Implements & Domestic Economy (14 figs)
Ngeungeu and her son James Maxwell
E Pori / E Rangi Wawa. Porirua Pah
House of Hiwikau, mother of Te Heuneu, and Falls of Ko Waihi, at Te Rapa, Tanpo Lake
Ornamental Canoe Heads, Paddles etc (7 figs)
Native Tombs (5 figs)
Toea, daughter of Te Awaitaia, chief of Waingaroa with an attendant boy, carrying water
Nga Toenga, daughter of the Barrier Island Chief
Paratene Maioha, a chief of Waingaroa. Wearing the Parawal, or Dog's skin Robe
E Wai and Kahoki. Nieces of Rauparaka
E Tohi. A young woman of Barrier Island
Children on the Banks of the Waipa
E Wai (wife) / Na Horua or Tom Street (elder brother of Rauparaha) / Tuarau, or Kopai (his son)
Tu Kaitote, the Pah of Te Whero Whero, on the Waikato, Taupiri Mountains in the distance
Te Henheu's Old Pah of Waitahanui, at Taupo Lake
Natives of Port Nicholson (4 figs)
Te Mutu, chief of the Shutai, with his sons; Patuoni and Te Kuri Hokianga
Weapons & Implements of War Warriors prepaing for a fight (9 figs)
Volcano of Tongariro with Motupoi Pah, from Roto-Aire Lake
Te Waru. Principal chief of the Nga Ti Apakura Tribe / Te Pakuru. Principal chief of the Nga Ti Manapoto Tribe
Domestic Sketches (5 figs)
Ngawhea, of the Te Mohoa, a chief of the Ngatimaniapoto Tribe & Nga Miho 'Wife of Rangituataea'
Horomona Maruhau or Blind Solomon
Roperta of Kawhia
Tara or Irirangi, principal chief of the Nga Ti Tai Tribe
Whatas, or Patukas, storehouses for food
Taranaki or Mount Egmont, War Canoe. (Early Morning)
Native Swing
Maketu House, Otawhao Pah. Built by Puatia to commemorate the taking of Maketu
Children at the Boiling Springs, near Taupo Lake
To Ngaporutu, and his wife, Rihe, at Wakatumutu
Taupo Pah
A Feast at Mata-Ta, on the East Coast, Mt. Edgecumbe in the Distance
Poahu and E Koti; two lads of Poverty Bay
Weeping over a Deceased Chief
Throwing the Spear, the mode of Salutation
Hongi Hongi
Te Ohu, a Heathen Priest of the Ngatimaniapotp Tribe
Rangitakina. A chief of the Bay of Plenty, on the East Coast
Mungakahu, chief of Motupoi, and his wife Ko Mari
Native Ornaments etc (17 figs)
The Volcanic region of Pumice Hills, looking toward Tongariro and the Ruapahu
Rangihaeata's Pah; with the Island of Mana and the opposite shores of Cook's Straits
Te Maro, a boy of Waikato
Children of Te Pakaru, the chief of Kawhia
A woman and her sons, of Nga Ti Toa Tribe. Cook's Strait
Illustrated Title Page
War Dance, before the Pah of Oinemutu near Roturua Lake
Rangihaeata's House on the Oslamd of Mana, called
Motupoi Pah and Roto-Aire Lake. Tongariro in the distance
Ko Tauwaki, a chief of the Tukanu, Ko Teonionga, a boy of Te Rapa. Taupo Lake
Nene or Tamiti Waka. Chief of Hokianga
Te Heuheu & Hiwikaw Tanpo / Te Kawaw & his nephew Orakai
Entrance to a House at Raroera Pah. Waipa
George Thomas, a half caste boy. Nephew of Rauparaha


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