Best Of Both Worlds: The Story Of Elsdon Best And Tutakangah

Best Of Both Worlds: The Story Of Elsdon Best And Tutakangah

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In 1895 a meeting took place in the rugged Urewera ranges - Tuhoe country - that would have lasting effects on our views of traditional Maori society. Elsdon Best, a self-taught anthropologist and quartermaster on the road past Lake Waikaremoana, was sought out by a leading Tuhoe chief, Tutakangahau of Maungapohatu. The stories he gave to Best to be recorded for future generations are with us today. Best went on to become a noted Pakeha authority on a people he would style as the last of 'the oldtime Maori'. How much did the old man tell him? Was it freely given? Can Best's writings - so pervasive today in our understanding of Maori culture - be truly relied upon? In his unique examination of this historically significant relationship, Jeffrey Paparoa Holman poses such searching questions, further informing a vital national debate on the shared identity - and destiny - of Maori and Pakeha. 'This is our history at its best.' --Matthew Wright, Sunday Star-Times
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 25mm | 514g
  • Penguin Group (NZ)
  • Penguin Books (NZ)
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 0143008420
  • 9780143008422

About Jeffrey Paparoa Holman

Jeffrey Paparoa Holman was born in London in 1947 and immigrated to New Zealand in 1950, living out his early years mostly on the South Island's West Coast. His colourful career path has taken him to sawmills, shearing gangs, social work, bookselling and, since 1997, study at the University of Canterbury, where he graduated with a PhD in Maori Studies in 2007. He is currently a Senior Adjunct Fellow in the School of Humanities at Canterbury. Holman is an award-winning and widely published poet; the most recent of his seven volumes is Shaken Down 6.3, poems of the post-2010 Christchurch earthquakes (Canterbury University Press, 2012). His critically acclaimed history, Best of Both Worlds- The Story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau (Penguin, 2010), was shortlisted for the Ernest Scott Prize. His poetry, articles and reviews have variously appeared in the New Zealand Listener, Landfall, the Christchurch Press and other periodicals. Holman was the 2011 Writer-in-Residence at the University of Waikato; in autumn 2012, he was the New Zealand representative at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program. He lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
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