Story: Cultural go-betweens

Barnet Burns

Barnet Burns

The fully tattooed Barnet Burns wears a very unlikely version of a Māori chief's costume. Burns gave lectures and performances in Europe for more than 20 years on his experiences as a Pākehā–Māori. He was an English sailor who became a flax trader on the East Coast in the 1830s, married a chief's daughter and fought alongside her tribe. His negotiations between his Māori hosts and his British compatriots made him a significant cultural go-between in the early days of European settlement.

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Cultural go-betweens - Pākehā–Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 June 2024)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018