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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Pre-Colonisation Period

Before the coming of Europeans to New Zealand, the education of Maori children was shared by home and community. From their grandparents and parents they learnt the language and standards of behaviour. In the community they developed skill in fishing, hunting, gardening, house-building, cooking, mat-making, and basketry. The more difficult arts of wood-carving and tattooing were taught by experts while instruction in tribal law was given to the sons of chiefs and priests in a building known as the “whare-wananga”.


Raymond Leopold Bradly, M.A., DIP.ED., Regional Superintendent of Education (Auckland), Department of Education.