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April 06 , 2011

Words Between Us

He Korero: First Maori-Pakeha Conversations on Paper


This book traces Maori engagement with handwriting from 1769 to 1826. Through beautifully reproduced written documents, it describes the first encounters Maori had with paper and writing and the first relationships between Maori and Europeans in the earliest school. The book tells an image-led story about the earliest relationships between Maori and Pakeha based around the written word and sheds light on a larger story of the first attempts of Maori and Europeans to live together in the early 1800s, the negotiation of the relationship through conversations and correspondence, and frustrations of Maori at the limits of the teaching Europeans offered. Key people link the stories as the written words between Maori and Pakeha are tracked through documents such as Maori vocabularies, a map, letters, the alphabet, signatures, the first school roll, copybook pages and the first letter written independently by Maori.

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