This collection contains more than 2,500 pepeha, or “sayings of the ancestors,” that were gathered and compiled from all over New Zealand over a 20-year period. More than just proverbs, pepeha include charms, witticisms, figures of speech, and boasts, and they are featured in the formal speeches heard every day on the marae and in the oral literature handed down from past generations. These expressions provide a rich source of vocabulary, using metaphor and an economy of words to show language that enriches the Maori of today.
About the Author
Hirini Moko Mead (Ngati Awa) is a prominent writer and commentator who was instrumental in establishing the Maori tertiary institution Te Whare Wanaga o Awanui-a-rangi in Whakatane. He also served as a professor of Maori studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Neil Grove retired in 1972 from a distinguished career in the U.S. Army. He also served as secretary to the Anglican Diocese in Wellington, New Zealand, and his research in Maori proverbs continued until his death in 1999.
“The book is more than just a database; it is a journey into the mind of the culture and we are indebted to the authors and publishers for it.” —James Ritchie, Waikato Times
“It is rich reading for the variety and poetry of sayings, the cultural philosophy and tribal history they encapsulate, and the relevance of past words to the present.” —Jane McRae, NZ Books