Buck, Peter Henry, 1880-1951. The coming of the Maori

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Book I. The Coming Of The Maori


I The Discovery Of New Zealand

The Discovery

2 The First Settlement Period

The Maui Nation

The Tangata Whenua

The Moriori Of The Chatham Islands

The Moa Hunters

3 The Second Settlement Period

The Whatonga Expedition

The Story Of Manaia

Return Voyages To Hawaiki

4 The Third Settlement Period


Causes Of Migration

The Canoes Of The Fleet

Canoe Structure

The Voyage

The Landfall

Canoe Settlement

North Auckland Canoes

Fabulous Canoes

Introduction Of Plants

Introduction Of Birds And Animals

5 The Maori People

6 Maori Speech

The Alphabet


The Glottal Closure

Letter Changes



Language Affinities

Current Speech

Book Ii. Material Culture


1 Food




Fish And Shell Fish


Kitchen Equipment

Wooden Bowls


2 Houses

Lean-to Shelters

Houses Without Walls

Walled Houses

Common Houses

Superior Houses

The Family Sleeping House

The Carved Meeting House

Storehouses On Piles


From Thatch To Corrugated Iron

3 Villages And Forts

4 Mats, Baskets And Plaiting

Plaiting Technique


Palm-leaf Baskets

Flax Baskets

Other Plaited Material


Local Development


5 Clothing

Early New Zealand Garments

The Rain Cape

The Introduction Of Bark Cloth

The Change In Technique

Single-pair Twining

Downward Weaving

Weaving Implements

The Two-pair Weft

Dress Cloaks

Close Single-pair Twining

Coloured Borders

The Coloured Taniko Border

Plain Cloaks With Taniko Borders

Bias Wefts

The Loincloth

Kilts And Skirts


The Evolution Of Technique

Post-european Changes

6 Stone Tools

The Origin Of Polynesian Forms

New Zealand Adzes

Types And Varieties

The Hafting Of Adzes

Axial Hafting

Nephrite Adzes

Rotatory Adzes

Stone Axes

Side-hafted Adzes

Chisels And Gouges

The Cord Drill

The Passing Of The Stone Age

7 Canoes

Maori Voyaging Canoes

Maori Canoes

Canoe Equipment

The Fallacy Of Plank Canoes

The Passing Of The Canoes

8 Fishing


Line Fishing

Types Of Bone Points







9 Games And Pastimes

Military Games And Exercises

Aquatic Games And Pastimes

Games Of Dexterity And Agility

Calculations, Mental Alertness, Memorizing

Children's Games And Pastimes

Kites, Jumping Jacks, And Stone Discs

The Passing Scene

10 Musical Instruments






Bull Roarer And Whizzer


Sounds That Are Still

11 Weapons

Early Maori Weapons

The Throwing Stick

The Bow And Arrow

Long Clubs

Short Clubs

The Sling

Post-european Influence

12 Personal Decoration And Ornaments


Hair Ornaments

Feather Boxes

Ear Ornaments

Cloak Pins

Breast Ornaments

Breast Ornaments Of Teeth

The Spool Ornament

The Chevroned Pendant

The Tiki Breast Ornament


Preserved Tattooed Heads

The Old Order Changeth

13 Maori Art



Lattice Work

Rectilinear Art

Polynesian Carving

Maori Carving

The Manaia

The Marakihau

Arrangement Of Figures

Curvilinear Motifs

The Double Spiral

Other Motifs



Origin Of Maori Curvilinear Art

Book Iii. Social Organization


1 The Family And The Tribe

Tribal Divisions In The Time Of Toi

The Formation Of The Tribe

The Naming Of Family Groups

Principal Maori Tribes

Social Grades


Kinship Terms

Rank And Leadership

Attributes Of Chieftainship

2 Birth And Infancy

The Pure Rite



Breech Presentation




3 Childhood And Education



Adolescence And Higher Education

Sex And Marriage

4 The Life Of The Community

Community Co-operation

The Ohu Custom


5 Warfare

6 Sickness And Health

Death And Burial

Book Iv. Religion


1 The Creations


Creation Of The Gods

The Flood

The Esoteric Version

The Creation Of Man

2 The Gods

The Supreme God

The Departmental Gods

Tribal Gods

Family And Inferior Gods

Culture Heroes

Symbols Of The Gods

3 The Priesthood

Shrines And Temples

Offerings And Sacrifices

Incantations And Ritual

4 Varieties Of Religious Experience

Phallic Worship

The Manufacture Of Gods

Rewards And Punishments

The Death Of The Gods

5 The Creation Of Creators

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The coming of the Maori

Published By: Wellington: Maori Purposes Fund Board; [distributed by] Whitcombe and Tombs, 1952. xiii, 551 p., plates: ill.

By line: by Te Rangi Hiroa, Sir Peter Buck

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2009. Computer File

Culture: Maori (OZ04)

Subjects: Literary texts (539); Mythology (773); Traditional history (173); Diet (262); Dwellings (342); Mats and basketry (285); Normal garb (291); Boats (501); Fishing (226); Fishing gear (227); Games (524); Musical instruments (534); Representative art (532); Priesthood (793); Ritual (788);

Abstract: This is a detailed and sympathetic study of Maori culture based on the life-long research of a well known Maori ethnologist. He consulted all important literary sources, interviewed Maori elders, particularly to ascertain folk stories, and used his keen observational skill in collecting the data. This document is divided into four major sections: 1. discussion of Maori origins and racial affiliations, 2. material culture, 3. social organization, and 4. religion. It contains excellent data on technology. Various objects and methods of manufacture are described with accuracy and thoroughness. The sections on social organization and religion include less new material than that of material culture, but the author illuminates the scientific facts with his personal experiences and flashes of insight. Buck was a member of parliament, a minister of the Crown, and Director of Maori Hygiene in the Health Department (had M. D. degree) in New Zealand. His experience in bringing about changes in Maori concepts of sickness and health as a medical official provides excellent material for the theory of planned change. His experience as a member of a Maori war party and the vivid account of warfare are good cases of 'collective behavior' and leadership. It is not always clear whether some of the customs described applied to the Maori people as a whole or were confined to one or a few tribes only. However, his comparative analysis of Maori culture with other Polynesian data makes it not only a significant source on Maori culture but also an important addition to general Polynesian ethnology. The author, later, became professor of anthropology at Yale University and the Director of Bishop Museum in Honolulu.

Document Number: 3

Document ID: oz04-003

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Field Date: ca. 1910-1945

Evaluation: Ethnologist, Indigene-4,5

Analyst: Hesung C. Koh ; 1963; John Beierle; 2007

Coverage Date: 1850-1945

Coverage Place: New Zealand

LCSH: Maori (New Zealand people)


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