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By James Herries Beattie Book cover with the title "Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Māori" and the image of a map of Te Waipounamu
Edited by Atholl Anderson

Journalist James Herries Beattie recorded southern Māori history for almost fifty years and produced many popular books and pamphlets. Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Māori is his most important work. This significant resource, which is based on a major field project Beattie carried out for the Otago Museum in 1920, was first published by Otago University Press in 1994 and is now available in this new edition.

Beattie had a strong sense that traditional knowledge needed to be recorded fast. For twelve months, he interviewed people from Foveaux Strait to North Canterbury, and from Nelson and Westland. He also visited libraries to check information compiled by earlier researchers, spent time with Māori in Otago Museum recording southern names for fauna and artefacts, visited sites, and copied notebooks lent to him by informants. Finally he worked his findings up into systematic notes, which eventually became manuscript 181 in the Hocken Collections, and now this book.

Editor Atholl Anderson introduces the book with a biography of Beattie, a description of his work and information about his informants. Beattie wrote a foreword and introduction to the Murihiku section, which are also included here.

Author and editor

James Herries Beattie was bookkeeper, journalist, historian, ethnologist and bookseller. His early work included a multi-volume history of early settlers called, Pioneer Recollections (1909–1911) and an account of southern Māori traditions, placenames and history, published in the Journal of the Polynesian Society (1915–1922). His other work includes Tīkao Talks: ka taoka tapu o te ao kohatu / Treasures from the ancient world of the Māori (1939), Māori Lore of Lake, Alp and Fiord (1945), and Our Southernmost Māori: Their habitat, nature notes, problems and perplexities, controversial and conversational, further place names, antiquity of man in New Zealand (1954).

Professor Atholl Anderson, FRSNZ, is of Kāi Tahu descent. He was head of anthropology at the University of Otago before moving to Australian National University in Canberra. His works include The Welcome of Strangers: An ethnohistory of southern Māori (Otago University Press, 1998). His most recent publication, co-authored with the late Dame Judith Binney and Dr Aroha Harris, is Tangata Whenua: An illustrated history (2014).

Publication details

230 x 155mm, 640pp approx
ISBN 9781990048630
In-store: 22 February 2024

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