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A guide to resources
This guide is designed to help the researcher new to the study of Māori literature by indicating some of the major sources in the University of Auckland Library. The main focus is on traditional material but there are also a few notes on contemporary Māori writing in English
Many of the books held in the University of Auckland Library can be found using Library Search, the online catalogue. Some frequently used subject headings are (you don't need to use capitals or macrons in your searches):
Many books have subject headings for iwi in the form
For a complete list of iwi as subject
headings enter the search
General survey and bibliographical
The books listed below are some of the most
Gardiner, Wira. Haka : a living tradition. 2001.
Grey, George. Mythology and traditions of the New Zealanders = Ko nga mahinga a nga tupuna. 1854. This standard work has been republished many times since in English and Māori. Other titles include: Nga mahi a nga tupuna and Polynesian mythology. In English and Māori.
Kapiti, Pita. Nga korero a Pita Kapiti. 1997. 19th Century.
Karetu, T. S. Haka : te tohu o te whenua rangatira = The dance of a noble people. 1993.
McLean, Mervyn. Māori music.
McLean, Mervyn. Traditional songs of
the Māori. 1979.
Ngata, Apirana. Nga moteatea. [Vols.1-4].
Orbell, Margaret. The illustrated
encyclopedia of Māori myth and legend. 1995.
Orbell, Margaret. Waiata :Māori songs in history: An anthology. 1991.
Ruatapu, Mohi. Nga korero a Mohi Ruatapu: Tohunga rongonui o Ngati Porou = The writings of Mohi Ruatapu. 1993. Originally written down in two exercise books in the late 19th Century. Contains whakapapa and stories of tipuna and atua. In Māori and English.
Shortland, Edward. Māori religion
and mythology. 1882
Smith, S.Percy. The lore of the
whare wānanga. 1913-1915
Te Rangikaheke, Wiremu Maihi. The story of Maui.
Tikao, Teone Taare. Tikao talks: Ka taoka tapu o te ao kohatu : treasures from the ancient world of the Māori. 1990. Originally published in 1939, this work comprises traditional Ngai Tahu knowledge as told to Herries Beattie.
A Whaikoorero reader: Comparative perspectives for the study of waiata and other traditional Māori speech forms. 1984.
White, John. The ancient history of
the Māori: His mythology and traditions. 1887-1890
Special indexes and bibliographies in other published works
The research tools listed below are the most useful for finding sources in this field.
Look for recent journal and newspaper articles in Index New Zealand (INNZ).
All searches are keyword searches which search all the words of the record unless the computer is instructed to search only one particular field. The asterisk is the truncation symbol.
Try the searches Maori and mythology, Maori and legends, Maori languages, Maori and literature, Maori and fiction, Maori and literary criticism, Maori and newspapers, Maori and literacy, Maori music, Maori dance, Maori arts etc.
Add the words and book reviews to your search to locate book reviews.
Index to New Zealand periodicals
Nineteenth and early twentieth Century material was generally published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society (JPS) or the Transactions and proceedings of the New Zealand Institute (TNZI) which have their own indexes as well as being indexed by Taylor.
Journal of the Polynesian Society. 1892-
Transactions and proceedings of the New
Zealand Institute. 1868-
The books listed below are some of the most important general bibliographies and published inventories. Bibliographies in other books may also prove useful. Books with bibliographies can be found by adding the words and bibliography to any keyword search.
Curnow, Jenny. Nga taonga o Te Tai Tokerau.
Iwidex : Ngapuhi. 1993
McRae, Jane. Nga iwi o te Tai Tokerau : nga korero nonamata me naianei hoki...a catalogue of manuscripts...in the Māori language relating to the history and traditions of tribes in Tai Tokerau. 1981. Inventories some of the more important collections
Simmons, D.R. The great New Zealand myth : a study of the discovery and origin traditions of the Māori. 1976. A careful investigation of the sources of the generally accepted versions of the canoe traditions. Includes an 82 page bibliography of printed and manuscript material, covering a much wider range of sources than the particular focus of the book. The entries for the more important collections, such as the Grey MS (pp.413-420), include an inventory of the individual items.
Taylor, C.R.H. A bibliography
of publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the
Williams, H.W. A bibliography of printed Māori
to 1900 and Supplement.. 1975
There is no particular subject heading on Library Search which can be used to locate this material.
Some well-known authors (Alan Duff, Patricia Grace, Witi Ihimaera, Robert Sullivan, Apirana Taylor, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Briar Grace-Smith and Hone Tuwhare) are covered by the New Zealand Literature File. This lists the author's own works as well as reviews, criticism and biographical material.
Use INNZ to locate journal articles, book reviews, biographical material for writers not covered by the New Zealand Literature File.
Wevers, Lydia. 'Short fiction by Māori writers' in Commonwealth: Essays and studies, Vol.16,No.2, pp.26-33 (Spr 1994)
Pearson. Bill. 'The Māori and literature 1938-1965' in The Māori people in the nineteen-sixties. 1968. This covers writing by Māori as well as writing about Māori.
See also the anthologies of Māori writing edited by Witi Ihimaera and published as the Te Ao marama series. Five volumes have been published to 1996:
Te whakahuatanga o te ao : reflections of reality. 1992.
He whakaatanga o te ao : the reality. 1993.
Te puawaitanga o te korero : the flowering
Te ara o te hau : the path of the wind. 1994.
Te torino : the spiral. 1996.
Barlow, Cleve. He pukapuka whakataki kupu
o te Paipera Tapu = A concordance of the Holy Bible.
Fletcher, Henry James. [Index of Māori names]
Harlow, Ray. A name & word index to
Nga moteatea. 1986
Harlow, Ray. A name and word index to Nga
mahi a nga tupuna. 1990
Kirtley, Bacil F. A motif-index of
traditional Polynesian narratives. 1971.
Māori literature stems from an oral tradition. The first appearance on paper was generally in manuscript form in a whakapapa book, in a compilation put together at the request of Pakeha researchers or in the field notes of the researchers themselves. Only later did collections of stories appear in published form.
Grey, George. [Papers], ca 1854-1890
Whatahoro, H.T. [Genealogies], 8 vols.
The Archive of Māori and Pacific Music is a large collection of tape
recordings. It includes waiata, karakia and whaikorero
from all parts of New Zealand. Indexes are available to the
names of composers and performers, places of recording, and
first lines. It is also possible to track down items by the name
of a particular iwi or hapu.
Printed catalogues have been produced for
several of the major parts of the collection. (The Māori
Purposes Fund Board recordings of 1953-1958, the McLean
Collection from 1958-1979).
Māori and Pasifika Services