Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History

Author(s): Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris

NZ Maori | NZ History/Society | Anti-Racist Reading List

Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History charts the sweep of Māori history from ancient origins through to the twenty-first century. Through narrative and images, it offers a striking overview of the past, grounded in specific localities and histories. 
The story begins with the migration of ancestral peoples out of South China, some 5,000 years ago. Moving through the Pacific, these early voyagers arrived in Aotearoa early in the second millennium AD, establishing themselves as tangata whenua in the place that would become New Zealand. By the nineteenth century, another wave of settlers brought new technology, ideas and trading opportunities – and a struggle for control of the land. Survival and resilience shape the history as it extends into the twentieth century, through two world wars, the growth of an urban culture, rising protest, and Treaty settlements. Today, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Māori are drawing on both international connections and their ancestral place in Aotearoa. 
Fifteen stunning chapters bring together scholarship in history, archaeology, traditional narratives and oral sources. A parallel commentary is offered through more than 500 images, ranging from the elegant shapes of ancient taonga and artefacts to impressions of Māori in the sketchbooks and paintings of early European observers, through the shifting focus of the photographer’s lens to the response of contemporary Māori artists to all that has gone before. 
The many threads of history are entwined in this compelling narrative of the people and the land, the story of a rich past that illuminates the present and will inform the future.


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Winner of the illustrated non-fiction category award in the 2016 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. 

Winner of the Copyright Licensing New Zealand Best Resource in Secondary Award. 

Winner of the Te Kōrero o Mua (History) Award at the 2015 Ngā Kupu Ora Aotearoa Māori Book Awards. 

Winner of the 2015 Royal Society of New Zealand Science Book Prize. 

Gold winner at the Pride in Print Awards 2015. 

Selected by the New Zealand Listener as one of the best books of 2014 – ‘Years in the making and containing 500 images, this is a majestic charting of Māori history from beginnings to present day.'

One of the most significant books on the Māori world ever written.’ --Sir Tipene O’Regan 

‘This history alerts us to what has been imagined, created and fostered – to all that ensures a robust Māori future.’ -----Tracey McIntosh, Director, Ngā Pae o Te Māramatanga 

‘A compelling insight into Māori life from its ancient origins to the twenty-first century.’ Ripeka Evans, Ministry for Culture and Heritage 

Tangata Whenua lays a new foundation for enlarging cross-cultural understanding for Māori and Pākehā alike.’ --The Hon Sir Taihakurei Durie 

Tangata Whenua is a book to inform future generations, and a place from which new interpretations and understandings will arise.’ --Ranginui Walker, DCNZM

Atholl Anderson (Ngai Tahu) is Professor Emeritus at the Australian National University. An experienced archaeologist, he has published on early New Zealand and Pacific history, and on Ngai Tahu history.
Judith Binney was Professor Emeritus at the University of Auckland, and an award-winning author of many books on Maori history.
Aroha Harris (Ngapuhi, Te Rarawa) is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, who teaches history at the University of Auckland. Her publications include history, fiction and poetry.

General Fields

  • : 9781927131411
  • : Bridget Williams Books
  • : Bridget Williams Books
  • : November 2014
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris
  • : Hardback
  • : en
  • : 305.8994
  • : 544
  • : Colour illustrations