Ka rite te kopara e ko nei i te ata
It is like a bellbird singing at dawn.
Like the clear morning song of te koparapara, the bellbird, this book aims to allow the Maori world to speak for itself through an accessible introduction to Maori culture, history and society from an indigenous perspective.
In twenty-one illustrated chapters, leading scholars introduce Maori culture (including tikanga on and off the marae and key rituals like powhiri and tangihanga), Maori history (from the beginning of the world and the waka migration through to Maori protest and urbanisation in the twentieth century), and Maori society today (including twenty-first century issues like education, health, political economy and identity). Each chapter provides a descriptive narrative covering the major themes, written in accessible formal English, including appropriate references to te reo Maori and to the wider Pacific. Chapters are illustrated with a mixture of images, maps and diagrams as well as relevant songs and sayings.
Te Koparapara is an authoritative and accessible introduction to the past, present and future of the Maori world for students and general readers.
Most of the editors research and teach at Te Tumu, the School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago, one of the most significant clusters of research-active Māori Studies scholars in the country. They live in Ōtepoti (Dunedin), in Te Waipounamu, also known as the South Island, which lies under the mana of the people of this land, Kāi Tahu. Māori who live in the southern parts of Te Waipounamu historically called the bellbird ‘te kōparapara’, and the editors have chosen this local version of the bird’s name for the book’s title to acknowledge the people of this place.