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Old New Zealand: being Incidents of Native Customs and Character in the Old Times   By: (1812-1883)

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First Page:

OLD NEW ZEALAND:

BEING INCIDENTS OF

NATIVE CUSTOMS AND CHARACTER

IN THE OLD TIMES.

By

A PAKEHA MAORI.

LONDON: SMITH, ELDER AND CO., 65, CORNHILL

M.DCCC.LXIII.

[ The right of Translation is reserved. ]

PREFACE.

To the English reader, and to most of those who have arrived in New Zealand within the last thirty years, it may be necessary to state that the descriptions of Maori life and manners of past times, found in these sketches, owe nothing to fiction. The different scenes and incidents are given exactly as they occurred, and all the persons described are real persons.

Contact with the British settlers has of late years effected a marked and rapid change in the manners and mode of life of the natives, and the Maori of the present day are as unlike what they were when I first saw them as they are still unlike a civilized people or British subjects.

The writer has, therefore, thought it might be worth while to place a few sketches of old Maori life on record, before the remembrance of them has quite passed away; though in doing so he has by no means exhausted an interesting subject, and a more full and particular delineation of old Maori life, manners, and history has yet to be written.

CONTENTS.

Page

CHAPTER I.

Introductory. First View of New Zealand. First Sight of the Natives, and First Sensations experienced by a mere Pakeha. A Maori Chief's Notions of Trading in the Old Times. A Dissertation on "Courage." A few Words on Dress. The Chief's Soliloquy. The Maori Cry of Welcome. 1

CHAPTER II.

The Market Price of a Pakeha. The Value of a Pakeha "as such." Maori Hospitality in the Good Old Times. A respectable Friend. Maori Mermaids. My Notions of the Value of Gold. How I got on Shore. 16

CHAPTER III.

A Wrestling Match. Beef against Melons. The Victor gains a Loss. "Our Chief." His Speech. His status in the Tribe. Death of "Melons." Rumours of Peace and War. Getting the Pa in Fighting Order. My Friend the "Relation Eater." Expectation and Preparation. Arrival of doubtful Friends. Sham Fight. The "Taki." The War Dance. Another Example of Maori Hospitality. Crocodile's Tears. Loose Notions about Heads. Tears of Blood. Brotherly Love. Capital Felony. Peace. 28

CHAPTER IV.

A little Affair of "Flotsam and Jetsam." Rebellion crushed in the Bud. A Pakeha's House sacked. Maori Law. A Maori Lawsuit. Affair thrown into Chancery. 61

CHAPTER V.

Every Englishman's House is his Castle. My Estate and Castle. How I purchased my Estate. Native Titles to Land, of what Nature. Value of Land in New Zealand. Land Commissioners. The Triumphs of Eloquence. Magna Charta. 70

CHAPTER VI.

How I kept House. Maori Freebooters. An Ugly Customer. The "Suaviter in Modo." A Single Combat to amuse the Ladies. The true Maori Gentleman. Character of the Maori People. 78

CHAPTER VII.

Excitement caused by first Contact with Europeans. The two great Institutions of Maori Land. The Muru. The Tapu. Instances of Legal Robbery. Descriptions and Examples of the Muru. Profit and Loss. Explanation of some of the Workings of the Law of Muru. 94

CHAPTER VIII.

The Muru falling into Disuse. Why. Examples of the Tapu. The Personal Tapu. Evading the Tapu. The Undertaker's Tapu. How I got Tabooed. Frightful Difficulties. How I got out of them. The War Tapu. Maori War Customs. 107

CHAPTER IX.

The Tapu Tohunga. The Maori Oracle. Responses of the Oracle. Priestcraft. 136

CHAPTER X.

The Priest evokes a Spirit. The Consequences. A Maori Tragedy. The "Tohunga" again... Continue reading book >>




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