Thursday, April 17, 2008

Paul Moon – David Ling Publishing - $30

The author is Professor of History at AUT University and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society at University College, London.
This is the final work in Moon’s trilogy dealing with the great Tuhoe tohunga Hohepa Kereopa who died in September 2007 and the author hopes this jopurnal will serve as a memorial to his extraordinary life.

In his introduction Moon Says:
Before the European presence in New Zealand began to intrude into Maori culture, tohunga were a class apart in Maori society. Their cousel was sought by chiefs, their healing abilities – combining natural and metaphysical remedies – were the mainstay of the health of Maori communities, their knowledge of history was usually unsurpassed among those with whom they lived, and they were revered as living stores of all that was sacred in Maori society.

I picked up The Tohunga Journal to read with some reluctance but was quickly absorbed finding his visits to the Ureweras, (where in my Napier bookselling days I used to go trout fishing), of special interest. A comparatively slender volume at 136 pages the book can be read quite quickly.
Recommended to all who have an interest in Maori culture and of course it should be in all secondary school, tertiary and public libraries.

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