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He Reo Wāhine introduces the experience of Māori women in colonial New Zealand through their own words – the speeches and evidence, letters and testimonials that they left in the archive.
Drawing on more than 500 texts in both English and te reo Māori, the book explores the range and diversity of their concerns and interests, and the many ways in which they engaged with colonial institutions, as well as their understanding and use of the law, legal documents, and the court system.
In eight chapters, Paterson and Wanhalla group texts across the key themes of land sales, war, land confiscation and compensation, politics and mana, petitions, legal encounters, religion, and private matters.
Lachy Paterson is an Associate Professor in Te Tumu School of Māori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies at the University of Otago, where he teaches Māori language and Māori history. He has published widely on Māori history of the colonial period.
Angela Wanhalla is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago. Her 2013 book Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand (AUP) was awarded the Ernest Scott Prize by the Australian Historical Association for the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand.
He Reo Wāhine: Māori Women's Voices from the Nineteenth Century, by Lachy Paterson and Angela Wanhalla.
Published by Auckland University Press. Softbound, 372 pages.