Story: Māori Studies – ngā tari Māori

Te Rangikāheke manuscript, 1850s

Wiremu Te Rangikāheke, a leader of the Ngāti Rangiwewehi people of Rotorua, wrote nearly 800 pages of manuscripts on Māori language, genealogy, legends, history, customs and other subjects. This page describes the ceremonies for tattooing a chief, and the method of performing the operation. It also includes an example of a tattoo design. Te Rangikāheke wrote this highly valuable material while advising Governor George Grey on Māori language and customs. Grey later reused some of Te Rangikāheke's work, without acknowledgement, in his published collections of Māori songs and legends.

Using this item

Auckland City Libraries - Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero, Sir George Grey Special Collections
Reference: 7-C1926

Permission of Auckland City Libraries Tāmaki Pātaka Kōrero must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ranginui Walker, 'Māori Studies – ngā tari Māori - Pioneers of Māori studies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 December 2023)

Story by Ranginui Walker, published 22 Oct 2014