LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD: Maori Myths, Tales and Legends by Kiri--Adapt. Te Kanawa
Kirkus Star

LAND OF THE LONG WHITE CLOUD: Maori Myths, Tales and Legends

Email this review


Nineteen handsomely packaged, fluidly retold traditional stories from a little-known culture. As the eminent half-Maori singer explains in a preface, these are tales she heard as a child or at more recent family gatherings: how Maul the trickster forced the sun to slow down and pulled up South Island with his magic hook; what happened when the patupaiarehe (fairies) came to look at Te Kanawa, the famous chief; the origins of fishing nets and tattooing; local legends of lakes, trees, and birds; several love stories and journeys. Though many of the stories feature monsters or magic creatures, the main characters nearly always take human form. Te Kanawa introduces each story with a brief note that explains her personal reaction to it or enlarges on some detail. Foreman's brilliant watercolors add dash and visual appeal, though his impressionistic renderings only occasionally evoke the style of Maori art and artifacts. Since Polynesian folk-tales are difficult to find in print, this lavishly produced collection should prove as useful as it is attractive. Glossary.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1990
Page count: 119pp
Publisher: Arcade--dist. by Little, Brown