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First published between 1887 and 1890, this six-volume work, containing Maori texts with English translations and commentary, and engraved illustrations, was one of the first printed records of the oral traditions of the Maori. The project was commissioned by the New Zealand government in 1879 when it was observed that, due to the introduction of European culture and education, indigenous traditions were in danger of dying out. The material was collected by John White (1826-91), an ethnographer, public servant and writer who had arrived in New Zealand as a boy and first began documenting Maori poetry in the 1840s. Volume 5, published in 1888, contains narratives about the Tainui migration and describes some of the more violent episodes in Maori history, including famous intertribal wars.
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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. The ancient canoes, and Tai-nui; 2. Hotu-mauea; 3. Journey of Tara to Katikati; 4. Motai; 5. The exploits of Te-ngako; 6. The forts of Tu-Raunga-tao taken; 7. Battles fought previous to those of Mau-inaina and the Totara; 8. The Nga-ti-maru answer by song; 9. An account of an ancient (European) navigator called Rongo-tute; 10. The war between Nga-ti-maru and Nga-ti-whananga; 11. The war of Nga-ti-awa on Hau-raki; 12. The attack of Kohi-rangatira and Te-kanawa on Nga-puhi; 13. The acts of murder by the Nga-puhi on the Hau-raki tribes; 14. How Nga-i-te-rangi obtained possession of Tauranga; 15. Pa at Maketu Taken; 16. The Nga-ti-maru reside in Horo-tiu.

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