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Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui



Recent item

Syndetics book coverHe tuhi mārei-kura = A treasury of sacred writings : a Māori account of the creation, based on the priestly lore of the Tainui people, by Pei Te Hurinui Jones.
Contents include : The solemn dedication (Te Tāinga o te Kawa): A prologue -- The sacred assembly (Te Wānanga): An introductory act -- The sacred ritual (Ngā Ohaoha Tapu): In three parts -- The sacred ritual (Ngā Ohaoha Tapu): Part one -- Io (The supreme being) -- The world of stars (Ngā Ao Whetū) -- The life principle I (Te Mauri-ora I): Hani and Puna -- The sacred genealogical tables of Tainui priesthood (Ngā Whakapapa Tapu) -- The world hereafter I (Te Ao-i-tua-o-Rangi I) -- The world hereafter II (Te Ao-i-tua-o-Rangi II) -- A treasury of ancient verses (He Taonga i Makere Iho)

Top 10 titles

Syndetics book coverExploring Māori values, by John Patterson.
Respect, balance and survival -- Values and proverbs -- Spiritual values -- Values and virtues -- Utu and balance -- Collective responsibility -- Values and traditional narratives.

Syndetics book coverTikanga Māori : living by Māori values, by Hirini Moko Mead.
Contents include : Nga pūtake o te tikanga (Underlying principles and values) -- Te tapu o te tangata (The tapu of the person) -- Wāhi tapu, taonga tapu (The tapu of places and things) -- Te marae (The ceremonial courtyard) -- Te pōhiri (Welcome ceremonies) -- Tangihanga (Ceremonies of the dead) -- Te takoha (Gift giving) -- Whakahuihui tangata (Social groupings) -- Te āhua o te tangata (The behaviour of the people) -- Te tuakiri, te whenua (Identity and land) -- Te whakawhānau (New life) -- Mātauranga Māori (Knowledge)...

Syndetics book coverThe tohunga journal : Hohepa Kereopa, Rua Kenana, and Maungapohatu / Paul Moon.
"This is the final work in the trilogy dealing with the great Tuhoe tohunga Hohepa Kereopa. After spending five years working with Hohepa, Paul Moon's extraordinary concluding volume is a powerful, moving work, evoking the majesty of the Ureweras, delving into the metaphysical realm of one of Maoridom's most renowned tohunga and traversing a remarkable period of New Zealand history" -- Back cover.

Syndetics book coverSeeds of the Word = Nga kākano o te Kupu : the meeting of Māori spirituality and Christianity / Philip Cody. "Explores the seed of the Gospel and the seedbed of Maoritanga, examining the differences and similarities between Maori spirituality and Christianity - and discovering the potential for a mutually enriching harmony of the two." (publisher's description) Philip Cody SM is a chaplain to Maori in Wellington, having completed a Master of Matauranga Maori at Te Wananga-o-Raukawa, Otaki, researching Maori spirituality.

Syndetics book coverReed book of Māori mythology, by A.W. Reed. Classic collection of key narratives : the creation of the universe, of Rangi and Papa and the children of earth and sky, of Maui and Tawhaki, of taniwha and patupaiarehe, supernatural monsters and fairies, and of heroes and lovers. These stories are part of the culture and heritage of Aotearoa.

Tohunga : the revival : ancient knowledge for the modern era, by Samuel Timoti Robinson.
Part One, Te Wananga o Te Ao Marama, tells of the coming of the world of light. It recounts oral creation traditions from the Io priesthood. In Part Two, Tohungatanga, the first chapter on Maori history is given to demonstrate the journey of Maori esoteric knowledge. The last chapters are committed to understanding the lore of Io-matua-kore, the higher cosmology of the Io religion.

Maori religion and mythology : being an account of the cosmogony, anthropogeny, religious beliefs and rites, magic and folk lore of the Maori folk of New Zealand / by Elsdon Best
Originally published in 1924.

The woven universe : selected writings of Rev. Maori Marsden / edited by Te Ahukaramu Charles Royal.

Te wheke : a celebration of infinite wisdom / written by Rangimarie Turuki Pere ; illustrated by Nancy Nicholson.

The Lore of the Whare-wananga, or, Teachings of the Maori college on religion, cosmogony and history / written down by H.T. Whatahoro from the teachings of Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pohuhu, priests of the Whare-wananga of the East Coast, New Zealand ; translated by S. Percy Smith.
Memoirs of the Polynesian Society ; v. 3,4

Te tangata = the human person / Michael P. Shirres.

Rangihau, John. Learning and tapu, and being Māori, in, Te Ao hurihuri : aspects of Maoritanga / edited by Michael King.
p. 12-14, 171-184

Titles by Māori

Syndetics book coverTikanga Māori : living by Māori values, by Hirini Moko Mead.
"Ranging over topics from the everyday to the esoteric, this book provides a breadth of perspectives and authoritative commentary on the principles and practice of tikanga Māori. Professor Mead's Introduction to Tikanga Māori will be as informative to the layreader as it will be thought-provoking to the respected kaumatua" (Huia Publishers).

The coming of the Maori / by Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter Buck) Originally published in 1929.

Wahine toa : women of Maori myth / paintings and drawings by Robyn Kahukiwa ; text by Patricia Grace. (1984)

Nga mahi a nga tupuna, / edited by H. W. Williams, with additional matter from Governor Grey MSS.

The Maori response to the Gospel; a study of Maori-Pakeha relations in the Methodist Maori Mission from its beginnings to the present day / by Ruawai D. Rakena.
Proceedings / Wesley Historical Society (New Zealand) ; v. 25, no. 1-4

Tikao talks : ka taoko tapu o te ao kohatu : treasures from the ancient world of the Maori / told by Teone Taare Tikao to Herries Beattie.
Originally published in 1939.

Mai i rangiatea : a journal published by Te Whare Wananga o te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa.
WCL holds 2003, 2005. The issue for 2005 includes:
p. 5. Atuatanga : a Māori theology and spirituality.
p. 21. Māori spirituality in the new millennium.
p. 29. In the beginning ... an opinion of how, why and for whom Io became a supreme Atua.

Recent General writings

Syndetics book coverThe island broken in two halves : land and renewal movements among the Maori of New Zealand, by Jean E. Rosenfeld.
"Why should anyone outside New Zealand be interested in Maori history? Because it is rich in documents that recapitulate five hundred years of European imperial expansion & the responses to it by indigenous peoples. British humanitarians tried to avoid in New Zealand the tragic mistakes the Crown made in Australia. .... The Island Broken in Two Halves examines three related prophet movements within a framework that examines their fundamentally religious features. ... The Pai Marire cult sprang up in the wake of the first mid-nineteenth-century land war & swept rapidly across the North Island, igniting fears of a native rebellion. Out of the ashes of Pai Marire rose the Ringatu church, founded by a charismatic prophet who was marked by a "sign of discord." After his death, a Ringatu messiah predicted that a millennial king would return confiscated land to the impoverished tribes. Together, these movements formed a "Spirit tradition" with a unique hermeneutics that challenged the hegemony of European settlers." (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMihaia : the prophet Rua Kenana and his community at Maungapōhatu, by Judith Binney, Gillian Chaplin, Craig Wallace. (2nd edition)
Resisting threats to expel the Tuhoe people from their ancestral lands, Kenana established a remarkable community at Maungapohatu, identifying himself as the 'Mihaia' or 'Messiah' for Tuhoe. Judith Binney, Gillian Chaplin and Craig Wallace researched the history of the community in the 1970s, working first with a collection of photographs that they took to the Urewera. ... This biographical account focuses on a dramatic moment in Urewera history, one that incorporated a shocking episode in early twentieth-century New Zealand. The rich photographic record documents not only the police assault on the Maungapohatu community but also the lives of the people and Rua's utopian vision. (drawn from the publisher's description).

Syndetics book coverThe birth of the universe = Te Whāautanga o te ao tukupā : Māori oral cosmogony from the Wairarapa / Agathe Thornton.
Why did the Maori, of the Wairarapa in particular, come to write down their oral traditions? How did they do it? And what was changed, or lost, in the translation from oral to literal? These are the questions Professor Agathe Thornton examines in relation to oral traditions of the Wairarapa, and the stories she chooses to compare are major parts of the areas's cosmogony (Cosmogony is the story of how the cosmos came into existence). Of great importance are the dictation of stories from the heavenly world; the Separation of Rangi and Papa, and the ascent of Tane to Io for the Sacred Stones. ... (drawn from publisher's description)

Syndetics book coverMagical arrows : the Maori, the Greeks, and the folklore of the universe, by Gregory Schrempp ; foreword by Marshall Sahlins.
A fascinating and sophisticated exploration of cosmology, Magical Arrows connects the Western philosophical tradition with the cosmological traditions of non-Western societies, particularly those of Polynesia. Using the mythology and philosophy of the Maori of New Zealand as a counterpoint to Western thought, Schrempp finds a philosophical common denominator in the thought of the pre-Socratic philosopher, Zeno of Elea. Book jacket. (drawn from Syndetics).

Song of the old tides, by Barry Brailsford ; Maaka Tipa, pouwhenua ; Renzie Hanham, design. (2004)

The coming of Pakeha religion : the spiritual significance for Maori : a revisionist analysis of Maori spirituality and Pakeha religion, by Charles Ihaia Hita-Brown. (2007)

An introduction to Maori religion : its character before European contact and its survival in contemporary Maori and New Zealand culture / James Irwin. (1984)

Koru and covenant : reflections on Hebrew and Maori spirituality in Aotearoa / J.J. Lewis ; with L.V. Willing and D.S. Mullan. (1995)

Chapters in books etc

Can humanity survive? : the world's religions and the environment / edited by James Veitch. (1996)
Henare, Manuka and Bernard Kernot. Māori religion : the spiritual landscape, pp. 205-216.

The April report : report / of the Royal Commission on Social Policy. (1988)
Henare, Manuka. Ngā tikanga me ngā ritenga o Te Ao Māori : standards and foundations of Māori society, Vol. III Part I, pp. 5-41.

Te ao hurihuri : the world moves on : aspects of Maoritanga / edited by Michael King. (1977)
Rangihau, John. Learning and tapu, and being Māori, pp. 12-14, 171-184.

Te Maori : Maori art from New Zealand collections / edited by Sidney Moko Mead ; text by Sidney Moko Mead ... ?et al.! ; photographs by Athol McCredie. (1984)
Salmond, Anne. Ngā huarahi o te ao Māori : pathways in the Māori world, pp. 109-137.


If the title does not link directly to the full text, please ask at the Central library, 2nd floor, to view the article. Binney, Judith. Christianity and the Māoris to 1840: a comment, in, New Zealand journal of history, vol. 3, no. 2 (1969) pp. 143-165.

Binney, Judith. The heritage of Isaiah : Thomas Kendall and Māori religion, in, New Zealand journal of history, vol. 1, no. 2 (1967) pp. 124-139.

Blake-Palmer, G. Tohungaism and makutu : some beliefs and practices of the present day Māori, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 147-64.

Buller, Walter L. Observations on some peculiar Māori remains, with remarks on the ancient institution of tapu, in, Transactions and proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand, vol. 27 (1894) pp. 148-54.

Gadd, Bernard. The teachings of Te Whiti o Rongomai, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 75, no. 4 p p. 445-57.

Gathercole, Peter. Hau, mauri and utu : a re-examination, in, Mankind, vol. 11, no. 3 (1978) pp. 334-340.

Gudgeon, W. E. Māori religion, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 14 (1905) pp. 107-130.

Hunt, C. G. Maringa Te Kakara village, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 68, no. 1, p. 6.

Nelson, C. E. A Māori cosmogony, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 16,(1907) p. 109.

Ngata, Apirana. The Io cult, early migration, puzzle of the canoes, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 59, no. 4 (1950) pp. 335-346.

Owens, John M.R. Christianity and the Māoris to 1840, in, New Zealand journal of history, vol. 2, no. 1 (1968), pp. 18-40.

Salmond, Anne. Te ao tawhito : a semantic approach to the traditional Māori cosmos, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society,vol. 87, no. 1 (1978) pp. 5-28.

Sanderson, Kay. Māori Christianity on the East Coast, in, New Zealand journal of history, vol. 17, no. 2, pp.166-84.

Shirres, M. P. Tapu, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 91, no. 1, (1982) pp. 29-51.

Smith, S. Percy. Clairvoyance among the Māoris, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 29 pp. 149-61.

Smith, S. Percy. On the Tohunga Māori : a sketch, in, Transactions and proceedings of the Institute of New Zealand , vol. 32, pp. 253-70.

Tuhoto-Ariki. He waiata-karakia : an ancient Māori poem / trans. by George H. Davies and J. H. Pope, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society, vol. 16, pp. 43-60.

Walters, Muru. Mihingare and karakia Māori, in, Stimulus, vol. 6, no. 2 (1998) pp. 76-82.

Wohlers, Johann F. H. The mythology and traditions of the Māori in New Zealand, in, Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, vol. 7, pp. 3-53, and vol. 8, part 3, pp.108-123 (1974-5).

Other General Introductory writings

Maori religion / by Johannes C. Andersen.
"Originally published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, Vol. 49 pages 513-555, Wellington 1940."

Traditional lifeways of the Southern Maori : the Otago University Museum ethnological project, 1920 / James Herries Beattie ; edited by Atholl Anderson. (1994)

Spiritual and mental concepts of the Maori / by Elsdon Best. (1922)

Maori religion and mythology : being an account of the cosmogony, anthropogeny, religious beliefs and rites, magic and folk lore of the Maori folk of New Zealand / by Elsdon Best. (1995, Te Papa)

The Maori, past and present : an account of a highly attractive, intelligent people, their doubtful origin, their customs & ways of living, art, methods of warfare, hunting & other characteristics, mental & physical / by T.E. Donne. (1927, 1998)

The Maori and his religion in its nonritualistic aspects / by J. Prytz Johansen. (1954)

Studies in Maori rites and myths / by J. Prytz Johansen. (1958)

Tapu removal in Maori religion / by Jean Smith. (1974)

Te Ika a Maui, or, New Zealand and its inhabitants : illustrating the origin, manners, customs, mythology, religion, rites, songs, proverbs, fables, and language of the natives ; together with the geology, natural history, productions, and climate of the country, its state as regards Christianity : sketches of the principal chiefs, and their present position / by Richard Taylor. (1855,1974)

Pai Marire

Ngā Poropiti me te Whakapono

Te Kooti and Rua & Ringatū

Syndetics book coverRedemption songs : a life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki / Judith Binney.
Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki was one of the best known Māori leaders of the 19th century. In the difficult times for Māori after the wars of the 1860s and early 1870s, Te Kooti was commtted to the cause of peace and to working through the law. He sought to redeem his people and the land. This book started from discussions with Ringatū leaders. (drawn from flyleaf)


Chapters in Books & Journals

  • Binney, Judith. The Ringatu traditions of predictive history, in, Journal of Pacific history ; vol. 23, no. 1 (1988) p. 167-74.
  • Binney, Judith. Myth and explanation in the Ringatu tradition, in, Journal of the Polynesian Society ; vol. 93, no. 4 (1984) p. 345-93.
  • Fowler, Leo. A new look at Te Kooti, in, Te Ao hou ; no. 6 (December 1957) p. 18-22.
  • Hill, Richard. Te Kooti's notebook, in, Archifacts ; no. 13 (March 1980), p. 283-85.
  • Misur, Gilda Z. From prophet cult to established church : the case of the Ringatū movement, in, Conflict and compromise / ed by I. H. Kawharu. (1975) pp. 97-115.


  • Ratana: the man, the church, the political movement by J. McLeod Henderson.
    Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki was one of the best known Māori leaders of the 19th century. In the difficult times for Māori after the wars of the 1860s and early 1870s, Te Kooti was commtted to the cause of peace and to working through the law. He sought to redeem his people and the land. This book started from discussions with Ringatū leaders. (drawn from flyleaf)
  • Te Whetu marama o te kotahitanga.
    The material contained in these volumes has been reproduced from original issues of Te Whetu marama o te kotahitanga (registered as a newspaper in 1924).


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