RARE: Māori-English Tutor & Vade Mecum - 1911 (9654)

  • $85.00

The first Māori grammar book written by a Māori author, Henry Matthew Stowell of Ngāpuhi, who sometimes published under the name Hare Hongi.
Stowell, H. M. Maori-English Tutor and Vade Mecum.
Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1911.

Henry Matthew Stowell was born in Waimate North, Bay of Islands in 1859. An important influence in his life was time he spent in Waitaha near Ahipara, absorbing Māori lore from the tohunga Nga Kuku Mumu; whom Stowell later described as his first and grandest mentor. Stowell’s abiding interest thereafter was the acquisition of traditional Māori knowledge, in particular mythology, genealogy and cosmology.

Maori-English Tutor and Vade Mecum published in 1911, is the first Māori grammar written by a Māori author and was intended as a book for ready reference. As well as Māori grammar, the book contains an array of Māori customary topics such as; ailments and diseases, sport and past times, tohunga, the lore of tapu, marriage customs and land tenure.

Condition. Front cover has fraying to the linen board and the top of the cover is loose. Spine shows wear and tear. The pages have an aged tone but are in good condition. Just some marks on some of the pages from use. 

There is a fabulous, handwritten inscription written to the prior owner by 'The sole surviving Chief of the Ngati Tairi hapu on 11/2/1921 (see photo).