Story: Ideas about Māori origins

‘The first home of our Maoris’ (2nd of 2)

‘The first home of our Maoris’

In the 1930s tens of thousands of New Zealand schoolchildren were taught that the original home of the Māori was India – as shown on this page from Whitcombe’s Pictorial story of New Zealand. Scholars such as Edward Tregear thought that the Māori language contained many similarities to the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Māori themselves were considered to be ‘noble savages’.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: P-Box J919.31 WHI 1937

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:

K. R. Howe, 'Ideas about Māori origins - 1840s–early 20th century: Māori tradition and the Great Fleet', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 10 August 2022)

Story by K. R. Howe, published 8 Feb 2005