Starting with the beaching of his Mataatua Bay of Plenty ancestral canoe, Buddy Mikaere provides a highly readable historical overview of Maori in New Zealand and goes on to examine the impact of a changing urban world on the traditional way of life. He describes the renaissance of Maori culture and the revival of language and traditions that were nearly lost to the past. The importance of marae and community, with tribal structure still evident in the settlement of Maori Treaty of Waitangi claims, the vitality of kapa haka and waka ama for Maori youth, the art of ta moko tattooing – all of these modern manifestations of culture are discussed and reviewed. Customs observed in formal situations, where people meet and greet one another, and at the marae where they come together to communicate and share hospitality, is described in detail, as is the tradition of burial. Photographs drawn from various sources, both historical and current, give a vivid impression of Maori traditions.
Buddy Mikaere of Ngati Pukenga and Ngati Ranginui descent has run an environmental consultancy with a national client base for the past 15 years; he is a well-respected historian and has published widely in his specialist field of 19th century race relations and on Maori history in general. He acted as editor on An IIllustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Maori Life: Taonga Tuku Iho by A. W. Reed, published by New Holland.