Te Mana o Te Waimana Tuhoe history of the Tauranga valley

Source: OAI


This study is an interpretation of history related by Tūhoe historians of the Tauranga valley, a valley situated on the northern side of the Urewera ranges, North Island, New Zealand. It is also an interpretation of historical records relating to the Tauranga valley Tūhoe community. Fieldwork for the study was carried out between November 1977 and July 1978, and between November 1978 and May 1979. It is argued that Tūhoe history of the Tauranga valley comprises four separate, but connected, domains of discourse. The first domain considered includes narratives which link tribes and sub-tribes, and relate them to their land. The second concerns relationships between local whānau, extended families descended from grand-parents of elders now living. Accounts which comprise the third domain focus upon the identity of Rua Kenana, a Tūhoe leader who, with his people the Iharaira (or Israelites), established a ‘city of God’ at Maungapōhatu (at the source of the Tauranga river). The fourth domain is that of reminiscence. Three Tauranga valley settlements are described by four Iharaira elders; Tataiahape between 1909 and 1915, Matahī between 1915 and 1927, and Tāwhana in the late 1920s and 1930s. In order to highlight and explore distinctions between Tūhoe history and Western history, Tūhoe accounts are not integrated with documentary sources into a single narrative. The focus is upon Tūhoe history and documents are drawn upon where relevant to an understanding of this history as a distinctive mode of discourse.

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