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Tamihana Te Rauparaha’s life of Te Rauparaha

March 3rd, 2021


‘He Pukapuka Tātaku i ngā Mahi a Te Rauparaha Nui’ is a 50,000-word account of Te Rauparaha’s life written by his son Tamihana Te Rauparaha in the late 1860s. A rich source of Ngāti Toa history, language and culture, it offers fascinating insights into traditional Māori society and the tumultuous history of the 1820s and 1830s. This was an era characterised by intertribal conflict and the redrawing of the tribal map of Aotearoa, as well as by early encounters between Māori and Europeans that were largely conducted on Māori terms. Tamihana’s account of his father’s life has now been published in full for the first time in a parallel Māori/English edition.

In this talk, the book’s translator and editor Ross Calman will discuss the historical context that led to the creation of Tamihana’s manuscript, give an overview of how the manuscript has been represented by various writers and translators over the past 150 years and describe some of the challenges he faced in interpreting the manuscript for a modern audience.

These monthly Public History Talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Recorded live at the National Library of New Zealand, 2 December 2020.




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