Maori Books

Muirs Bookshop stocks a comprehensive range of Maori art, culture, social, history and language books.  This page will keep you up to date on any new books coming and our best sellers.

Maori Made Easy WorkbookMaori Made Easy Workbook/Kete 1: For everyday learners of the Maori language by Scotty Morrison

RRP$25

The accessible guide to learning the Maori language, no matter your knowledge level. Fun, user-friendly and relevant to modern readers, Scotty Morrison's Maori Made Easy workbook series is the ultimate resource for anyone wanting to learn the basics of the Maori language. While dictionaries list words and their definitions, and other language guides offer common phrases, Maori Made Easy connects the dots, allowing the reader to take control of their learning in an empowering way. By committing just 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners will adopt the language easily and as best suits their busy lives. Written by popular TV personality and te reo Maori advocate Scotty Morrison, author of The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori, this series of four workbooks proves that learning the language can be fun, effective - and easy! 

Horouta Horouta: The History of the Horouta Canoe, Gisborne and East Coast by Rongowhakaata Halbert

RRP $120

Horouta is the definitive history of the descendants of the voyaging canoes that brought the first settlers from Polynesia to the lands that stretch from East Cape to northern Hawke's Bay.Assembled through painstaking historical and genealogical research over more than 70 years by Rongowhakaata Halbert and his family, the book includes extensive chapters based on oral and written history about the settlement of the East Coast, along with the most extensive genealogy charts for the region, and detailed maps of lands in the region.This outstanding work of scholarship is destined to serve the needs of all New Zealanders, and especially the peoples of Gisborne and the East Coast, for generations to come.

Maori Healing RemediesMaori Healing Remedies: Rongoa Maori by Murdoch Riley

RRP $32

A useful book of time-tested Maori herbal therapies. By quoting the words of many skilled practitioners of the art of herbal medicine, and by describing some of the spiritual practices and karakia associated, the book becomes a useful compendium of proven therapies, whether for arthritis, headaches, insect bites, rheumatism, skin complaints, sore throats, sprains, wounds etc. Headings for over 30 ailments. The book has beautiful photography by Phil Bendle that identifies many of the indigenous plants used by the Maori.

Maori Healing and HerbalMaori Healing and Herbal by Murdoch Riley

RRP $110

First section of this book surveys Maori health and healing from the pre-contact period with Europeans to the present time. It itemises individual ailments and subjects, discussing the spiritual and herbal healing needed. The second section contains information on some 200 plants with colour photographs of each. This book details New Zealand and world medicinal information according to the particular botanical family. Award winning book with wide appeal, also a recommended textbook for students.

A Maori Word a DayA Maori Word A Day by Hemi Kelly

RRP $30

A Maori Word a Day offers an easy, instant and motivating entry into the Maori language. Through its 365 Maori words, you will learn the following-- English translations- Word category, notes and background information- Sample sentences, in both te reo Maori and EnglishExploring the most common, modern and contemporary words in use today, A Maori Word a Day is the perfect way to kickstart your te reo journey!

 

Sleeps Standing Moetu Witi IhimaeraSleeps Standing Moetu by Witi Ihimaera with Hemi Kelly

RRP $35

Both fiction and fact, this fascinating book is a kaleidoscopic exploration of the Battle of Orakau. During three days in 1864, 300 Maori men, women and children fought an Imperial army and captured the imagination of the world. The battle marked the end of the Land Wars in the Waikato and resulted in vast tracts of land being confiscated for European settlement. Instead of following the usual standpoint of the victors, this book takes a Maori perspective. It is centred around Witi Ihimaera's moving novella, Sleeps Standing, which views the battle through the eyes of a 16-year-old boy named Moetu.Alongside the novella are non-fiction narratives from Maori eyewitnesses, together with images and a Maori translation by Hemi Kelly, further giving voice to and illuminating the people who tried to protect their culture and land.It is estimated that, at the height of the battle, 1700 immensely superior troops, well-armed and amply resourced, laid siege to the hastily constructed pa at Orakau. The defenders were heavily outnumbered with few supplies or weapons but, when told to submit, they replied-'E hoa, ka whawhai tonu matou, ake, ake, ake!''Friend, I shall fight against you for ever, for ever!'

Maori At Home Scotty MorrisonMaori At Home: An Everyday Guide To Learning The Maori Language by Scotty and Stacey Morrison

RRP $35

Kei hea o putu whutuporo? Where are your rugby boots? Homai te ranu tomatoPass me the tomato sauce Kei te pehea te huarere i tenei ra?How is the weather today? Kei hea to mahi kainga?Where is your homework? Kati te whakaporearea i to tuahine!Stop annoying your sister! Maori at Home is the perfect introduction to the Maori language. A highly practical, easy and fun resource for everyday New Zealanders, it covers the basics of life in and around a typical Kiwi household. Whether you're practising sport, getting ready for school, celebrating a birthday, preparing a shopping list or relaxing at the beach, Maori at Home gives you the words and phrases - and confidence - you need.

 

He Reo WahineHe Reo Wahine: Maori Women's Voices from the Nineteenth Century by Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla

RRP $50

During the nineteenth century, Maori women produced letters and memoirs, wrote off to newspapers and commissioners, appeared before commissions of enquiry, gave evidence in court cases, and went to the Native Land Court to assert their rights. He Reo Wahine is a bold new introduction to the experience of Maori women in colonial New Zealand through Maori women's own words - the speeches and evidence, letters and testimonies that they left in the archive.Drawing from over 500 texts in both English and te reo Maori written by Maori women themselves, or expressing their words in the first person, He Reo Wahine explores the range and diversity of Maori women's concerns and interests, the many ways in which they engaged with colonial institutions, as well as their understanding and use of the law, legal documents, and the court system. The book both collects those sources - providing readers with substantial excerpts from letters, petitions, submissions and other documents - and interprets them. Eight chapters group texts across key themes: land sales, war, land confiscation and compensation, politics, petitions, legal encounters, religion and other private matters.Beside a large scholarship on New Zealand women's history, the historical literature on Maori women is remarkably thin. This book changes that by utilising the colonial archives to explore the feelings, thoughts and experiences of M?ori women - and their relationships to the wider world.

Tears of Rangi Anne SalmondTears of Rangi: Experiments Across Worlds by Anne Salmond

RRP $65

During the nineteenth century, Maori women produced letters and memoirs, wrote off to newspapers and commissioners, appeared before commissions of enquiry, gave evidence in court cases, and went to the Native Land Court to assert their rights. He Reo Wahine is a bold new introduction to the experience of Maori women in colonial New Zealand through Maori women's own words - the speeches and evidence, letters and testimonies that they left in the archive. Drawing from over 500 texts in both English and te reo Maori written by Maori women themselves, or expressing their words in the first person, He Reo Wahine explores the range and diversity of Maori women's concerns and interests, the many ways in which they engaged with colonial institutions, as well as their understanding and use of the law, legal documents, and the court system. The book both collects those sources - providing readers with substantial excerpts from letters, petitions, submissions and other documents - and interprets them. Eight chapters group texts across key themes: land sales, war, land confiscation and compensation, politics, petitions, legal encounters, religion and other private matters. Beside a large scholarship on New Zealand women's history, the historical literature on Maori women is remarkably thin. This book changes that by utilising the colonial archives to explore the feelings, thoughts and experiences of Maori women - and their relationships to the wider world.

Mauri OraMauri Ora: Wisdom From The Maori World by Peter Aslop and Te Raumawhitu Kupenga

RRP $40

Pearls of wisdom contained in proverbs - whakatauk I - have been gifted from generation to generation as an intrinsic part of the Maori world. As powerful metaphors, they combine analogy and cultural history in the most economical of words. Short and insightful, they surprise, engendering reflection, learning and personal growth. Mauri Ora links whakatauk I to key personal virtues idealised across cultures and generations. The virtues - wisdom, courage, compassion, integrity, self-mastery and belief - stem from the science of positive psychology; the study of how to live a better life. Illustrated throughout with wonderful photographs from an old world, this book draws on traditional wisdom to provide a recipe for personal effectiveness and leadership, and a rewarding connection of Maori knowledge to contemporary thinking about personal happiness and fulfilment.

 

Puna Wai KoreroPuna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Maori Poetry in English Edited by Reina Whaitiri and Robert Sullivan

RRP $50

In this pioneering anthology, two leading Maori poets and scholars collect together the major Maori poetic voices in English and let flow a wellspring of Maori poetry. From revered established writers as well as exciting new voices, the poems in Puna Wai Korero offer a broad picture of Maori poetry in English. The voices are many and diverse: confident, angry, traditional, respectful, experimental, despairing and full of hope, expressing a range of poetic techniques and the full scope of what it is to be Maori. There are poems from all walks of life and modes of writing, laments for koro and hopes for mokopuna, celebrations of the land and anger at its abuse, retellings of myth and reclamations of history. Puna Wai Korero collects work from the many iwi and hapu of Aotearoa as well as Maori living in Australia and around the world, featuring the work of Hone Tuwhare, J. C. Sturm, Trixie Te Arama Menzies, Keri Hulme, Apirana Taylor, Roma Potiki, Hinemoana Baker, Tracey Tawhiao and others - as well as writers better known for forms other than poetry such as Witi Ihimaera, Paula Morris and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku. Short biographies are given for each poet, and the introduction, glossary and poem dates will make this taonga of Maori poetry especially useful in schools.

 

Maori Oral TraditionMaori Oral Tradition - He Korero no te Ao Tawhito by Jane McRae

RRP $45

Maori oral tradition is the rich, poetic record of the past handed down by voice over generations through whakapapa, whakatauki, korero and waiata. In genealogies and sayings, histories, stories and songs, Maori tell of 'te ao tawhito' or the old world: the gods, the migration of the Polynesian ancestors from Hawaiki and life here in Aotearoa.A voice from the past, today this remarkable record underpins the speeches, songs and prayers performed on marae and the teaching of tribal genealogies and histories. Indeed, the oral tradition underpins Maori culture itself. This book introduces readers to the distinctive oral style and language of the traditional compositions, acknowledges the skills of the composers of old and explores the meaning of their striking imagery and figurative language. And it shows how nga korero tuku iho - the inherited words - can be a deep well of knowledge about the way of life, wisdom and thinking of the Maori ancestors.

 

The Maori Meeting HouseThe Maori Meeting House: Introducing The Whare Whakairo by Damian Skinner

RRP $50

This all-new introductory guide to the whare whakairo, or Maori meeting house, covers every aspect of these magnificent taonga (treasures) - their history and evolution, structure and art forms, symbolism and cultural power. Generously illustrated with over a hundred intriguing historical and contemporary photographs, and containing original watercolour illustrations and a helpful glossary, the book clearly illustrates the parts - and the arts - of the whare whakairo, with reference to numerous houses from all over Aotearoa New Zealand and the world. In accessible and engaging text across three concise chapters, Damian Skinner brings together existing scholarship on whare whakairo with his own reflections as a Pakeha art historian and curator. He weaves in the voices of many carvers, artists, architects, writers, experts and iwi to give every reader new ways of seeing these taonga - whether it is their first visit or their hundredth. Equal parts informative history, personal essay and illustrated guidebook, The Maori Meeting House makes an important contribution to contemporary discussions about indigenous art history and taonga Maori.

 

Te Whiti o Rongomai and the Resistance of Parihaka by Danny KeenanTe Whiti

 

RRP $45

 

This is an account of the life and times of Te Whiti o Rongomai set against the politics and Crown policies of the nineteenth century. It traces the forces that shaped his life's journey from Ngamotu, where he was born, to his settling at Parihaka and his evolving sense of the injustices and disempowerment Maori experienced and his response to these. The book discusses the struggles Te Whiti had, as understood by some of his living relatives, against native policy of the time, and it gives insights into the motivations of Te Whiti and his actions. It explores the community at Parihaka, its resistance and the consequences of this and looks at Maori and government actions and responses up to the present day.

 

Danny Keenan (Ngati Te Whiti Ahi Ka, Te Atiawa) has a PhD in history from Massey University. He has worked in the Department of Maori Affairs and is a former senior lecturer in Maori/New Zealand history at Massey University, Palmerston North. He was visiting Fulbright professor at Georgetown University, Washington DC, in 2009. He is now a full-time writer, and most recently, he has written 'Terror in Our Midst? Searching for Terror in Aotearoa New Zealand' and was the editor of 'HUIA Histories of Maori'.

 

Te Ara Puoro: A Journey into the World of Maori Music by Richard Nunns with Allan Thomas RRP $50

 

One of the largely unseen consequences of the European colonisation of Aotearoa was that the playing of, and knowledge about the traditional musical instruments of the Maori almost completely disappeared. In the 1970s a young Pakeha schoolteacher, Richard Nunns, started asking questions of his Maori friends about these instruments, which sparked a 40-year journey of rediscovery. Over that time Richard has become internationally recognised as the leading figure in the revival of taonga puoro, alongside the late Hirini Melbourne, educator and musician, and Brian Flintoff, master carver and instrument maker. Te Ara Puoro tells the story of Richard's remarkable journey; of how fragments of knowledge given by elders were pieced together through countless presentations and performances on marae the length and breadth of the country; of how the instruments were re-created and developed; and of how he subsequently mastered their playing. The book gathers together an enormous amount of the current knowledge about taonga puroro, and will undoubtedly be the most important written resource in existence on the subject. It also charts the many other paths that Richard has taken with the music, including the huge variety of recordings he has done, his sound-track work, and his playing in other genres, such as free jazz and classical. This is a remarkable and important story. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of the instruments, this book will be essential reading for anyone interested in Maori culture.

 

 Shortlisted for Ockham New Zealand Book Awards - Illustrated Non-Fiction 2016.

A Whakapapa of Tradition: One Hundred Years of Ngati Porou Carving, 1830-1930

A Whakapapa of Tradition: One Hundred Years of Ngati Porou Carving, 1830-1930 by Ngarino Ellis  RRP $90

 Maori carving went through a rapid evolution from 1830 to 1930. Beginning around 1830, three dominant art traditions - war canoes, decorated storehouses and chiefly houses - declined and were replaced by whare karakia (churches), whare whakairo (decorated meeting houses) and wharekai (dining halls). In A Whakapapa of Tradition, Ngarino Ellis examines how and why that fundamental transformation took place by exploring the Iwirakau school of carving - an ancestor who lived in the Waiapu Valley around 1700, Iwirakau is credited with reinvigorating carving on the East Coast. The six major carvers of his school went on to create more than thirty important meeting houses and other structures, which Ellis explores to tell this story of Ngati Porou carving and a profound transformation in Maori art. A Whakapapa of Tradition also attempts to make sense of Maori art history, exploring what makes a tradition in Maori art; how traditions begin and, conversely, how and why they cease. Beautifully illustrated with new photography by Natalie Robertson, and drawing on the work of key scholars to make a new synthetic whole, A Whakapapa of Tradition will be a landmark volume in the history of writing about Maori art.

Te Toi Whakairo - The Art of Maori Carving

Te Toi Whakairo - The Art of Moari Carving  2015 edition Hirini Moko Mead RRP$45

Wood carving is one of the supreme expressions of New Zealand identity. Beginning with carving's mythical origins, Te Toi Whakairo explores the evolution of styles and techniques through the four main artistic periods to the present day, and provides detailed explanations of carving styles in different parts of the country, using examples from meeting houses and leading artists.Later chapters delve into the the main structures, forms and motifs, and the role of the woodcarver, and explore the status of the art in contemporary New Zealand. Practical guidance is given for use of materials, tools, techniques, surface and background decoration, the human figure, and carving poupou.

Meariki : Te Rapunga  I Te Pono or The Quest for Truth

Meariki : The Quest for Truth or Te Rapunga I Te Pono by Helen Pearse-Otene and Andrew Burdan RRP$25

 Meariki is a slave to the people of Ngai Kuwai and must obey the chief and look after his only daughter, Hineamuru. When Hineamuru is abducted by a warlock, Meariki and Pehi, a young warrior and Hineamuru's lover, go on a hazardous journey to rescue Hineamuru. Pehi is brave but arrogant, while Meariki is clever and resourceful, and the success of the journey rests on her. At each incident in the adventure, Pehi and Meariki uncover hidden truths, and Meariki comes to realise that in saving Hineamuru, she will also reveal her own true destiny.

A graphic novel available in Maori and English 

Prizes: Shortlisted for PANZ Book Design Awards: Best Educational Book 2015.

Te Hokowhitu a Tu by Christopher Pugsley

Te Hokowhiti A Tu by Christopher Pugsley RRP$40

Maori soldiers signing up for the First World War representing a formidable fighting force - Te Hokiwhitu a Tu, or the Seventy twice-told warriors of the war god, Tumatauenga. Prejudice kept the Maori Pioneer Battalion well back from the front lines as support troops, but their war efforts won them rights as full citizens of their homelands. Drawing on rare archival material and previously unpublished diaries and letters, Te Hokowhitu a Tu is the authoritative account of Maori and Pacific Islanders in the First World War, and balances the wider story of the Pioneer Battalion's exploits with a portrait of daily life for soldiers who laboured not only against the enemy but also racism behind their own lines.

Chappy by Patricia GraceChappy  by Patricia Grace   RRP $40

Gracing us with her first novel in ten years ......Sent from his privileged European life to New Zealand to sort himself out, twenty-one-year-old Daniel embarks on piecing together the history of the Maori family he knows little about. As his grandmother Oriwia and reclusive adopted uncle Aki revisit their past, mysteries and secrets resurface that cause everyone to search deep into their souls. In this touching portrayal of family life, acclaimed New Zealand writer Patricia Grace explores issues of racial intolerance, cross-cultural conflicts and the universal desire to belong. Spanning several decades and set against the backdrop of a changing New Zealand, Chappy is a story of enduring love and togetherness.

maori made easyMaori Made Easy: For Everyday Learners of the Maori Language by Scotty Morrison RRP $35

The complete and accessible guide to learning the Maori language, no matter your knowledge level. While dictionaries list words and their definitions, and other language guides offer common phrases, Maori Made Easy connects the dots, allowing the reader to take control of their learning in an empowering way. By committing just 30 minutes a day for 30 weeks, learners will adopt the language easily and as best suits their busy lives. Written by popular TV personality and te reo Maori advocate Scotty Morrison, author of The Raupo Phrasebook of Modern Maori, this book proves that learning the language can be fun, effective - and easy!

 

MaraeMarae - Te Tatau Pounamu: A Journey Around New Zealand's Meeting Houses by Muru Walters, Robin Walters & Sam Walters.  RRP $80

 Bishop Muru Walters is a very well known Anglican minister. He is also a master carver, poet, broadcaster and former Maori All Black. His son Robin is a photographer and filmmaker who is director at Curious Films. Sam Walters, Robin's wife, is a photographer. Together the Walters spent three years visiting some of this country's major meeting houses as well as many of the more humble ones - houses that serve smaller hapu and iwi - to bring together a beautiful photographic book on the meeting house. They are intensively photographed, with detailed shots of their carvings, kowhaiwhai panels, tukutuku panels and much more. Many are photographed during an event, the images conveying a rich sense of life and activity. From north to south, from the east coast to the west, and from ancient wharenui to bold new designs, this handsome book, with its engaging personal text, captures the huge variety of New Zealand's original architecture. It's a book for all New Zealanders to treasure.

Maori Boy by Witi IhimaeraMaori Boy  by Witi Ihimaera RRP$40

This is the first volume of Witi Ihimaera's enthralling memoir, packed with stories from the formative years of this much-loved writer. Witi Ihimaera is a consummate storyteller - one critic calling him one of our 'finest and most memorable'. Some of his best stories, however, are about his own life. This honest, stirring work tells of the family and community into which Ihimaera was born, of his early life in rural New Zealand, of family secrets, of facing anguish and challenges, and of laughter and love. As Ihimaera recounts the myths that formed his early imagination, he also reveals the experiences from real life that wriggled into his fiction. Alive with an inventive, stimulating narrative and vividly portrayed relatives, this memoir is engrossing, entertaining and moving, but, more than this, it is also a vital record of what it means to grow up Maori.

takitimu

Takitimu by J. H. Mitchell RRP$80

Takitimu is one of the great tribal histories in the New Zealand literary canon. It tells of the Ngati Kahungunu people - tangata whenua of Hawke's Bay and parts of East Coast and Wairarapa - from their origins in the Pacific Islands to their lineage in Aotearoa up to the twentieth century. It is divided into four main sections: the history up to the departure of Takitimu and other canoes of migration; the history of Ngati Kahungunu; short biographies of Sir James Carroll, Sir Maui Pomare and the Rev. Tamihana Huata; and appendices describing charms, proverbs, the interpretation of dreams and signs, and the Maori almanac. Complete with genealogical tables, this is a book of great value for history enthusiasts and especially the people of Ngati Kahungunu - the third largest Maori tribe, with descendants throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Author Biography: J.H. Mitchell (1870-1944) grew up in Thames, and from the age of 15 until his death lived in Wairoa. He was a dairy farmer, Maori interpreter, and an authority on iwi history and whakapapa. He devoted his later years to the writing of Takitimu and the building of the Takitimu Carroll meeting house in Wairoa. This book is his legacy.