Story: Arts and the nation

Cover and dedication page of Maori Life in Ao-tea

Cover and dedication page of Maori Life in Ao-tea

In the early 20th century Johannes Andersen was a clerk in the Christchurch office of the Department of Lands and Survey. He began writing poetry and turned, like others at the time, to Māori traditions for inspiration. At first he wrote this collection of Māori lore in poetic form; but then decided to present it in prose with the expectation, as the dedication suggests, that it would provide inspiration for other poets and artists. He argued that New Zealand culture should turn to Māori stories in place of classical legends. Eventually Andersen became editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society and librarian of the Alexander Turnbull Library, and he always retained an interest in Māori history and traditions.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Johannes C. Andersen, Maori life in Ao-tea. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1907, cover, dedication

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Arts and the nation - Cultural nationalism, 1890 to 1910', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/45004/cover-and-dedication-page-of-maori-life-in-ao-tea (accessed 19 October 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014