Story: Māori non-fiction and scholarship – ngā tuhinga me te rangahau

Student's copybook, 1820s

Student's copybook, 1820s

This pupil's copybook includes the text 'Na te Atua pai' from 29 January 1828, and on 7 February 1828, 'E Atua pai tenei ana.'  The first phrase translates as 'This was done by our great God'. The second is oddly phrased, but may mean, 'This is our great God who has done this thing'.  This is an early example of Māori learning to write – often, at first, from missionaries.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Elsdon Craig Collection (MS-Group-1233)
Reference: MS-Papers-7888-184-08

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:

Basil Keane, 'Māori non-fiction and scholarship – ngā tuhinga me te rangahau - Māori letter-writing and newspapers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Basil Keane, published 22 Oct 2014