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I whānau au ki Kaiapoi: The story of Natanahira Waruwarutu

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I whānau au ki Kaiapoi: The story of Natanahira Waruwarutu As recorder by Thomas Green. Edited by Te Maire Tau

Natanahira Waruwarutu was a child at the time of the capture of Kaiapoi Pa by Te Rauparaha’s Ngati Toa warriors in 1832. The early years of his life, recounted here in the original Māori text and an accompanying translation, saw great change in the Māori communities of Waitaha (Canterbury) and Akaroa.

Ōtakou leaders set aside Moeraki, further south, for Kaiapoi refugees and Waruwarutu moved between the two places until he died in 1895. Before his death, he passed on the scribe to Thomas Green, himself a Ngāi Tahu elder, a substantial body of material that now defines modern understanding of the traditional history of Ngāi Tahu. This manuscript was part of that material and, as Te Maire Tau describes in his introduction, has a history of its own.

The story in this book is not a Ngāi Tahu ‘Grand narrative’. As Te Maire Tau says, Māori history simply does not work like that. Rather, it is one narrative by a survivor of the period ‘that recollects the reality of what he saw as a child; on this basis, it is a superb example of an oral tradition.’

The author has included a chapter on the historical context of Waruwarutu manuscript and annotations for both Māori and English texts. A further chapter presents in Māori with English translations a text recorded by scribe Charles Creed that supplements Waruwarutu’s account of his induction into the Kaiapoi whare pūrākau (house of learning). It is one of the few manuscripts that provides a glimpse into a world that no longer exists.

Format: This book is a paperback

Language: This book is written in both English and Te reo Māori text (Bilingual).

Published: 2011

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About the Author

Thomas Eustace Green (Tame Eutahi Kirini) was born at Port Levy (Koukourarata), Banks Peninsula in 1840, of mixed Ngāi Tahu and Pākehā heritage. His mother was of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Wairaki descent, possibly identified as Pirihira Kumea; father possbily identified as European settler Thomas Green. He eventually became an upoko runanga (tribal leader) for the people of Kaiapoi, and was buried there is 1917. Working with tribal elders such as Tapiha Te Wanikau and Natanahira Waruwarutu in the late nineteenth century, Green compiled a large array of genealogies and tribal histories. He corresponded with Pākehā scholars and writers such as James Cowan.

About the Editor

Te Maire Tau (Ngāi Tahu) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Canterbury and Director of the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre.


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