These sketches of Kawiti’s pā at Ruapekapeka were included in the first volume of James Cowan’s official history of the New Zealand wars (1922). They evoke Cowan’s admiration for Māori skill in fortifying their defences. Cowan saw his work as contributing to a frontier mythology for New Zealand that might bear comparison with stories of the American West. He also believed that through warfare Māori and Pākehā gained a respect for each other’s military prowess that strengthened New Zealand race relations in the long run. Cowan was a journalist and an ardent cultural nationalist. While later professional historians criticised his views as romantic, more recent writers on the New Zealand wars have taken his judgements about Māori military strategy seriously.
Using this item
Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: James Cowan, The New Zealand wars, v 1. Wellington: Government Printer, 1955, pp. 76–78
This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.