Story: Ethnic and religious intolerance

The Aryan Maori

The Aryan Maori

The Aryan Maori was written by Edward Tregear and published in 1885. Tregear was a former surveyor who had fought during the New Zealand wars and lived for some time in Māori communities. On the basis of an examination of Māori language and mythology, he argued in this book that Māori shared with Europeans an ancient Aryan heritage, and that their languages belonged to the Indo-European family. The image on the cover refers to Tregear's claim that the Māori language contained echoes of the Sanskrit word for cow. The myth that Māori were Aryan and therefore superior to other indigenous races was quite widespread in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-K 601-COVER

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Spoonley, 'Ethnic and religious intolerance - Intolerance towards Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 April 2024)

Story by Paul Spoonley, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 7 Jun 2018