MAORI MYTHS AND TRIBAL LEGENDS by Antony Alpers

MAORI MYTHS AND TRIBAL LEGENDS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Maori of New Zealand were Polynesians who migrated to that land. They have a rich lore which explains the world as they know it and their own history. Antony Alpers, drawing from the research of a Captain Grey, who first went to New Zealand to administer the Maori in 1845, Taylor and, to a lesser extent, John White, new retells these myths and legends in an unbowdlerized adult version. There is the creation myth, the story of Maul, trickster demi-god who slowed down the sun and fished up the land to make New Zealand but who failed to bring man immortality. There is his sister Hinauri and her husbands (Maui changed the first into a dog) Irawaru and Tinirau, and Tawhiki, who climbed up to heaven Maul may have fished up New Zealand, but Kupe discovered it. In the tales of the migration, told ""simply for their worth as stories,"" Tama tricks Ngatoro into being his navigator, and not content with this feat, takes his wife, but Ngatoro is clever and in the end has his own vengeance. Tribal customs (cannibalism), history (wars), beliefs all emerge in this reconstruction, which has its own sanguine attraction.

Pub Date: Feb. 8th, 1965
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin