Story: Māori overseas

‘Mazzellah, the New Zealand Wild Indian’

‘Mazzellah, the New Zealand Wild Indian’

This leaflet from 1820s London proclaims the wonders of ‘Mazzellah the New Zealand Wild Indian’. In the 19th century, Europeans were fascinated by the idea of people living close to nature. The term ‘Indian’ was widely used at the time to refer to indigenous people. In this advertisement, accuracy seems to have given way to sensationalism – Mazzellah does not sound like a Māori name, and Māori did not use bows and arrows. The intriguing ‘War Mat’ may refer to a heavy cloak of flax, which was worn as body armour in battles.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-B-MAORI-1820-01

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:

Carl Walrond, 'Māori overseas - England, the United States and elsewhere', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 June 2024)

Story by Carl Walrond, published 8 Feb 2005