Judith Binney, 1992
In eight remarkable oral histories, Ngā Mōrehu brings alive the experience of Māori women from the mid-twentieth century. Heni Brown, Reremoana Koopu, Maaka Jones, Hei Ariki Algie, Heni Sunderland, Miria Rua, Putiputi Onekawa and Te Akakura Rua talked with Judith Binney and Gillian Chaplin, sharing stories and memories. These are the women whose ‘voices must be heard’.
The title, ‘the survivors’, reflects the women’s connection with the visionary leader Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki and his followers, who adopted the name ‘Ngā Mōrehu’ during the wars of the 1860s. But these women are not only survivors: they are also the chosen ones, the leaders of their society. They speak here of richly diverse lives – of arranged marriages and whāngai adoption traditions, of working in both Māori and Pākehā communities. They pay testimony to their strong sense of a shared identity created by religious and community teachings.
Table of contents
Hei Ariki Algie
Te Akakura Rua
He Kupu Māori: Glossary
'Nga Morehu remains a timeless taonga (treasure) that speaks to the hearts and minds of contemporary readers.' Anne Eddy, Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, 3.2, 2015
'[T]o read the life histories of these women is a rare privilege. We are swept up into a world of pain, poverty and the sheer grind of daily life in rural villages. … Throughout all the narratives there is a strong sense of taha wairua – spiritual beliefs instilled by influential whanau elders. To read these stories is to become enveloped in a brilliantly patterned cloak where all the strong threads are bound together with warmth and aroha.' Keri Kaa, NZ Listener, 30 May 1987
1st edition was a Montana Award Finalist