WhakanuiaTe Wiki o te Reo Māori

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Anna Blackman | 1 Comment

E ngā kōtuku rerenga tahi, koutou ngā manu tioriori, i waiho mai i ngā raukura nei hei tākiri i te manawa, hei hiki i nga parirau, kia taea ai te hōkai ki te rangi, tēnā koutou.

Before the written word in New Zealand, Māori lived with an oral language reaching back to the homeland of Hawaiki.  Within an oral tradition there is company and conversation, ritual and performance, and the warmth and intimacy of the human voice.  That voice is carried on the living breath, linking the present to the ancestral past.

It was into this world of oral knowledge that the early Europeans introduced a print culture and its attendant literacy.  Once Māori mastered the art of writing as well as an introduced orthography, they became prolific correspondents. Māori wrote not only to each other, but also to the new governing power.  In their correspondence, Māori developed a written convention based largely on the protocol of the marae and particularly that of whaikorero. Letters on display, one from Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipi Te Waharoa illustrate this use of the oral tradition extending into letter writing.

The introduction of literacy also saw changes to Māori language use with a shift of emphasis from the ear to the eye. It was no longer necessary to commit the words of rituals to memory because they could be written down and referred to when required. This resulted in Māori families across Aotearoa committing genealogies, tribal histories, chants and proverbs to the written page rather than to memory. Many of these notebooks have found their way into heritage collections such as the Hocken and some of these are included in the exhibition.

As the literate Māori population burgeoned in the 1830s and 1840s, Europeans were also employing learning technologies intent on gaining insight and understanding into Māori language, knowledge and culture. Illustrating this are two taonga from Europeans who lived in the Waikouaiti area.  Wesleyan Missionary James Watkin’s notebook of collected Māori vocabulary shows Kai Tahu dialect and Watkin’s detailed enthusiasm for learning te reo rakatira. Also on display are Land agent W.B.D. Mantell’s unique bundles of cards recording phonetically, the names of hapū of Otago. Presumably they were developed by Mantell as a mnemonic learning device to understand the relationships between groups of hapū and their associated land and natural resource rights.

On display at the Hocken Collections is a simple exhibition of 10 taonga. The exhibition was co-curated with Associate Professor Poia Rewi, Dr Katharina Ruckstuhl and Nikita Hall from the University of Otago who are researching Māori Language use among Dunedin whānau. We wanted to bring together a collection of taonga that celebrate the enduring mana of the Māori language; taonga that illustrate how the oral tradition, invigorated by the written word, continues to express the tone and soul of the people.

Tēnā anō rā tātou katoa. Ka huri.

1. A Korao no New Zealand. Sydney: Printed by G. Howe, 1815. Facsimile. WI. Hocken Collections.
2. Alphabet sample written by Hongi Hika, c.1814. No.68 in Samuel Marsden Correspondence 1813-1815, MS-0054, Hocken Collections.
3. Letter from Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi Te Waharoa to Edward Shortland, 1 May 1866. Shortland Papers, MS-599/1, Hocken Collections.
4. Letter from Matene Te Whiwhi, Otaki, 19 November 1863. Shortland Papers, MS-0385/002, Hocken Collections.
5. Mohi Ruatapu (Ngāti Porou) Manuscript containing whakapapa, karakia, historical narratives, May 1875. MS-0045c, Hocken Collections.
6. Hauhau Prayer Book entitled Karakia mo te Hauhau, c.1860. Misc-MS-0175, Hocken Collections.
7. Notebook of Southern place names, waiata and vocabulary, c.1929. Ulva, L. Belsham Papers, Misc-MS-0933/002, Hocken Collections.
8. Vocabulary of Māori words compiled by Reverend James Watkin at Waikouaiti, c.1840. MS-0031, Hocken Collections.
9. W.B.D. Mantell, Names of hapū of Kai Tahu, 1848. MS-0402, Hocken Collections.
10. Digitised pages 1-15 of vocabulary of Māori words compiled by Reverend James Watkin at Waikouaiti, c.1840. MS-0031, Hocken Collections. Audio by Takiwai Russell-Camp (Kai Tahu).

Jeanette Wikiara is the Māori Resources Portfolio Librarian at the Hocken Collections, University of Otago.

“Join the swinging tea set!”

Thursday, July 12th, 2012 | Anna Blackman | 1 Comment

Today we’d be surprised to see tea marketed to teenagers.  However, in the 1960s, the New Zealand Tea Council made a concerted effort to engage with youth culture, promoting their product with brightly coloured ‘mini-magazines’ which included posters they described as ‘tea-riffic’ and ‘psychedelic.’  These posters were reported to have ‘caused a sensation right around New Zealand,’ ‘making the scene […] anywhere the “switched on” movement gathered.’

One of the ‘mini-mags’ c.1968 was clearly published in the warmer months.  Featuring a range of recipes for iced tea drinks and ‘go-withs,’ it presented tea as the go-to drink for any occasion.  On one page, readers are encouraged to ‘throw a partea,’ with recipes provided for alcoholic and non-alcoholic punches.  A recipe for one of these, ‘Tea-juana punch,’ is provided below.  Another page promotes iced tea as the right drink for the ‘surfin scene,’ and offers a glossary of ‘surfin’ terms.’

Featured also is a ‘Pop Profile’ of Auckland band the Dallas Four (incidentally the winners of the 1968 nationwide ‘Tea Rave Band Contest’).   They are photographed with their preferred drink of iced lemon tea.  Trade publications (titled Teamen) from the Tea Council indicate that along with the ‘Tea Rave’ contest, a wide range of events were sponsored throughout the country to promote tea to a younger audience.  They included a ‘Tea Dress’ contest, a ‘Tea is Fashion’ event, and a ‘Great Tea Race.’

As the Tea Council was simultaneously directing its advertising towards older age groups, the intensity of their push could well have been a response to something happening in the marketplace – perhaps competition from coffee?  Instant coffee was introduced to New Zealand in the 1960s, and a quick check of a New Zealand Official Yearbook from the period suggests that the Tea Council might have had valid cause for concern.  In 1968, New Zealand imported 7,179,006 tonnes of tea, and 3,972 tonnes of raw coffee.  The corresponding quantities in 1970 were 7,636,228 tonnes and 6,123 tonnes, respectively – reflecting quite a caffeinated leap ahead for coffee!

The Council’s promotion of tea to teens revolved around the concept of tea as a new and exciting option, part of the counter-culture almost;  one that could set a drinker aside from their peers as a ‘fashion leader’ or a ‘trend setter.’  The kind of people who ‘woke up to tea’ were ‘not afraid to laugh at convention.’  Drinking tea was presented as a rebellion of kinds; a chance to ‘sort the way-outs from the never-ins.’

The advertising recognises teenagers as active consumers with ample leisure time.  One poster encourages the ‘tea-in,’ a ‘laze-around listen-along tea session where you invite your friends, listen to the latest and just be downright different. […] A ‘tea-in’ can be as mobile as you like.  Load your surfboards, transistor record player, bikini and suntan lotion into the car, pack a couple of thermos flasks and throw a ‘tea-in’ beach style.’

It’d be interesting to know how these advertising efforts were received.  Do you have any recollection of them?   Did they convince you that ‘tea is the fashion?’

Tea-juana Punch
3 tablespoons tealeaves
1 quart boiling water [4 ½ cups]
4 cups sweet white wine
½ cup lemon juice
Orange slices
Pineapple sticks
Whole strawberries or cherries
Lemon slices

Pour briskly boiling water over tealeaves.  Let stand for 5 minutes; add wine and lemon juice and pour over ice.  Garnish with fruit.  Serves 8 to 10.

MS-3868 Box 18 [Promotional material relating to beverages]
The New Zealand Official Yearbook (1971)
Teamen (April 1968, June 1969 and September 1969)

Blog post prepared by Kari Wilson-Allan, Assistant Archivist