Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Letters by Maori cast light on land sales
by Yvonne Tahana writing in the New Zealand Herald, 16 December.
Pic left from NZ Herald - Te Rangi Topeora wrote to Sir Donald McLean asking for gifts.
The largest surviving collection of 19th century Maori-language letters is now available online and the stories they tell give life to mass land sales and cheeky requests from Maori women.
The Alexander Turnbull Library's new manuscripts and pictorial website draws its material from over 100,000 pages of diaries, correspondence, letterbooks and telegrams, and 60,000 images from Sir Donald McLean's collection.
As chief land purchase officer leading up to the 1860s land wars, Sir Donald received more than 3000 letters written in te reo.
While academics and researchers have used the material before, the website provides practical access for a wider audience with the library aiming to translate all of the te reo content.
The website is mp.natlib.govt.nz.
The full story at the Herald's website.
Yesterday I wrote about the new edition of the late Michael King's MOKO. This morning while reading the above story in the Herald of thought of Michael and of how interested he would have been in this story.