Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Maori - James Herries Beattie
Journalist James Herries Beattie recorded southern Māori history for almost fifty years and produced many popular books and pamphlets. Traditional Lifeways of the Southern Māori is his most important work. This significant resource, which is based on a major field project Beattie carried out for the Otago Museum in 1920, was first published by Otago University Press in 1994 and is now available in this new edition.
Beattie had a strong sense that traditional knowledge needed to be recorded fast. For twelve months, he interviewed people from Foveaux Strait to North Canterbury, and from Nelson and Westland. He also visited libraries to check information compiled by earlier researchers, spent time with Māori in Otago Museum recording southern names for fauna and artefacts, visited pā sites, and copied notebooks lent to him by informants. Finally he worked his findings up into systematic notes, which eventually became manuscript 181 in the Hocken Collections, and now this book.
Editor Atholl Anderson introduces the book with a biography of Beattie, a description of his work and information about his informants. Beattie wrote a foreword and introduction to the Murihiku section, which are also included here.