Historical Document Transcriptions, Excerpts, & Links
Document Transcription
George French Angas, Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand (London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1847), pp. 332-339.

George French Angas was an artist, naturalist, and writer. He traveled extensively and published illustrations and descriptions of what he encountered. He spent a considerable portion of his life in Australia. This particular work was based on his travels in South Australia and New Zealand from 1844 to 1845. The complete work includes several illustrations drawn by Angas of the indigenous peoples of the these lands. In the following selection from the larger work, Angas describes the dwellings, subsistence, weaponry, and population of the Maoris of New Zealand. He briefly touches upon contact and land issues as well.
For additional biographical information regarding George French Angas, see E. J. R. Morgan, "Angas, George French," Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition

Questions to Consider
1. What evidence does Angas provide of cultural persistence and cultural adaptation amongst the Maoris? To what extent does Angas portray Maori culture as static and unchanging? To what extent does Angas portray Maori culture as dynamic and adaptive?
2. What do you think is Angas's major purpose or objective in writing and publishing this book? Is it purely intended to be descriptive of indigenous life and customs? Do you find any evidence in this passage that suggests that he has other purposes as well? Who would be the likely audience for this work? Why would they be interested in the work?
3. What future does Angas envision for the Maoris and British settlers in New Zealand? How might a Maori respond to such a vision?
Document Transcription
William Brown, New Zealand and Its Aborigines (London: Smith, Elder, and Co., 1845), pp. 108-116.

William Brown was born in Scotland. He emigrated to New Zealand via Australia in 1840. He became a very successful businessman and would engage in some politics as well. He published New Zealand and Its Aborigines in 1845 as a descriptive and promotional tract. In the following selection from his work, he addressed the relationship between the Maoris and the English during this period.
For additional biographical information regarding William Brown, see R. C. J. Stone, "Brown, William 1809/1810?-1898" Dictionary of New Zealand Biography updated 22 June 2007

Questions to Consider
1. Brown's writing certainly reflected the pervasive idea amongst European colonists that indigenous peoples were destined to disappear. Did Brown believe that the Maoris were destined to disappear? Why or why not?
2. What evidence can you find in this excerpt to support the conclusion that this work was a promotional tract as well as a descriptive tract?
3. What were Brown's assessments of government policy in New Zealand?
Document Transcription
James Buller, Forty Years in New Zealand (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1878), pp. 409-417, 476, & 477-497.

James Buller was a Methodist missionary who had worked with the Maoris in New Zealand since the 1830s. He learned the Maori language and closely studied their culture during the course of his missionary work. 
For additional biographical information regarding James Buller, see Alfred Cox, ed., Men of Mark of New Zealand (Christchurch, NZ: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1886).

Questions to Consider
1. What was the Maori King movement?
2. What major factors contributed to the emergence of the movement? What major factors impeded the movement?
3. To what extent is Buller empathetic to the movement and its objectives? 
Document Transcription
William Delisle Hay, Brighter Britain! Or Settler and Maori in Northern New Zealand (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1882), pp. 85-94.

William Delisle Hay devoted two chapters in his work to “Maori Manners.” These chapters traced Maori history and lifeways from their arrival in New Zealand through the wars with the British settlers in the nineteenth century and to the (then) present. Hay wrote about the wars between the Maoris and the settlers from the vantage point of 1882, approximately a decade after the conclusion of the last major military conflicts in the early 1870s. While he provided a brief overview of the military conflicts, he emphasized that they had concluded. The following selection from his work reveals just how emphatic he is about that point, and it provides a glimpse of how the settlers regard the Maori in the wake of the military conflicts.

Questions to Consider
1. Why is Hay so adamant about assuring his readers that hostilities between the Maoris and the white settlers have ended?
2. According to Hay, what were the major causes of Maori population decline post-contact? To what extent did Hay consider the white settlers culpable for the steep decline?
3. What future did Hay envision for the Maoris? How might Maoris respond to his vision?
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