Firth, Raymond William, 1901-. Economics of the New Zealand Maori

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter I The Study Of Economic Anthropology

Applied Aspects Of Economic Anthropology

Chapter Ii The Maori And His Economic Resources

The Land And The People

The Problem Of Environment And Economic Life

Economic Lore

Utilisation Of Natural Surroundings

A Human Ecology

The Calendar Of Work

The Economic Cycle

The Economic Adjustment In The Case Of Maori Clothing

Chapter Iii Social Structure And Economic Organisation

The Maori Village ( Kainga )

The Marae

The Whare Whakairo

Social Relations In The Village

Kinship Grouping

The Family

Economic Aspect Of Marriage

Wealth And The Power Of The Chief

The Individual And The Group In Maori Society

Chapter Iv The Psychology Of Work

The Problem

Bird-snaring As A Type Of Industry

Importance Of Birds

Mythology Of Birds

Bird-snaring Operations

Motives In Fowling

The Social Background Of Work

Chapter V The Nature Of Maori Industry

The Popular Attitude Towards Work

Art And Work


Mechanical Appliances

The Working Day

Aptitude Of The Native For Work

Chapter Vi The Organisation Of Work

Maori Division Of Labour

I. Division Of Labour Between The Sexes

Ii. Division Of Labour By Age

Iii. Division Of Labour According To Rank

The Specialist

Organisation In Typical Activities

The Leader Of Work

Stimuli In Communal Work

Chapter Vii Magic In Economics


Magic And The Control Of Nature

Magic Of Protection


The Economic Value Of Protective Magic

Magic Of Production

Magic And Work In Agriculture

Elements Of The Magic Art

The Spell

Appendix To Chapter Vii Mauri And Hau

Chapter Viii The Distribution Of Goods And Payment For Labour

Principles Of Distribution

Accumulation Of Wealth

Chapter Ix The Feast

Occasions Of Feasts

The Economic Feast

Marriage Feasts

The Inter-tribal Feasts


Initial Presentation Of Food

Apportioning The Provisions

Economic Effects Of The Feast

Reciprocity In Feasts

Chapter X The Ownership And Command Of Wealth

Maori Property: How Held And Used

Borrowing And The Tapu


Lost Property

Property Of The Household And Other Social Groups


Maori “communism”

Chapter Xi The Land

Sentiment Of The Maori For His Land

Some Aspects Of Native Tenure

The Chief, The Land, And The Tribe

The Rights Of Hapu

The Rights Of Families And Individuals

“unoccupied Lands”

The Title To Land

Conquest And Discovery.


Ancestral Right.

Transfer Of Land


Mana And The Land

Chapter Xii The Exchange Of Gifts

The Nature Of Primitive Economic Values

Transfer Of Goods

The Exchange Of Gifts

Intra-communal Exchange

Extra-communal Exchange

The Mechanism Of Exchange

“ Utu ”, The Principle Of Reciprocity

The Sanction For Repayment Of A Gift

Credit And Interest

Lavishness In The Return Gift

Theories Of The Gift-exchange

Fundamental Aspects Of The Gift Exchange

Chapter Xiii The Economic Aspect Of Culture Change

Culture Contact

Attitude Towards The Problem

Status Of The Maori

Historical Retrospect

I. The Phase Of Initial Impact

Ii. The Enthusiastic Adoption Of Culture Forms

Iii. The Mood Of Reaction

Iv. The Acceptance Of European Standards

V. Acceleration Of Economic Development

Land Development

A Broader Economic Base

Changes In Economic Structure


Standards Of Living

Reshaping Of Social Institutions


Mechanism Of Culture Change

Chapter Xiv The Maori Community

Linkage Of Social And Economic Life

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Economics of the New Zealand Maori

Published By: Wellington, NZ.: R. E. Owen, Govt.Printer, 1959. 519 p., plates: ill., map

By line: Raymond William Firth ; With a pref. by R. H. Tawney

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

Culture: Maori (OZ04)

Subjects: Production and supply (433); Annual cycle (221); Cultural participation (184); Functional and adaptational interpretations (182); Nuclear family (594); Labor and leisure (461); Fowling (223); Visiting and hospitality (574); Acculturation and culture contact (177);

Abstract: This classic in economic anthropology is a functional study of aboriginal Maori social and economic organization prior to 1840. It touches on class structure, land system, industry, methods of co-operative labor, exchange and distribution, the psychology of work, and the role of magic in economics. Although dealing with the institutions of a single people, this work also discusses problems of general theory. The author draws upon a wealth of ethnographic material from both published and unpublished sources plus his own field experience. This document is the second edition of the book originally published as 'Primitive Economics of the New Zealand Maori' in 1929. The chapters on economic anthropology and economic change have been revised to include new developments in both areas. The chapter on traditional Maori means of communication has been omitted from this edition.

Document Number: 4

Document ID: oz04-004

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Second edition of 'Thesis approved for the degree of doctor of philosophy in the University of London.'.

Field Date: ca. 1920

Evaluation: Ethnologist-4, 5

Analyst: Joan Steffens ; 1965: John Beierle; 2007

Coverage Date: 1800-1929

Coverage Place: New Zealand

LCSH: Maori (New Zealand people)--Economic conditions


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