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CUP book

Ngā Kōrero a Pita Kāpiti: The teachings of Pita Kāpiti

20 November 2023

Translated, edited and annotated by Anaru Reedy


(Out of print but available as a digital facsimile)

1997, digital facsimile edition March 2020
(was $14.95)
152pp, Paperback
213 x 137 mm, with 8 pp B&W photos
ISBN: 0-908812-48-5

Digital facsimile edition freely available from UC Research Repository

Ngā Kōrero a Pita Kāpiti: The teachings of Pita Kāpiti, translated, edited and annotated by Anaru Reedy, was first published by Canterbury University Press in 1997. A facsimile digital edition of the book has now been produced in association with the University of Canterbury Library. The digital edition, held in the UC Research Repository, is fully searchable and freely available.

In the late nineteenth century, the leading tohunga Pita Kāpiti, at Waiapu on the East Coast, dictated an account of the rituals surrounding the cultivation of kūmara and hue (gourds) and the hunting of kiore (rats), kererū (pigeons) and kākā. He also recorded many karakia and accounts of ritual and tradition, particularly those relating to the ancestors of Ngāti Porou. This first publication of Pita Kāpiti’s teachings includes the Māori text in full, an English translation, an introduction, extensive annotations and a selection of photographs.

Anaru Totorewa Reedy (Ngāti Porou) is also the translator, editor and annotator of Ngā Kōrero a Mohi Ruatapu: The writings of Mohi Ruatapu (CUP, 1993).

Anaru Reedy became a specialist in the transcribing, translating and annotating of ancient Ngāti Porou texts that had been written down in te Reo Māori by Mohi Tūrei and Hēnare Pōtae, starting in 1871. The manuscripts were written at the dictation of renowned Ngāti Porou tohunga: Toki Puanga, Mohi Ruatapu, and Te Rangiuia, all teachers from the Whare Wānanga called Te Rāwheoro, situated at Uawa near Tolaga Bay on the East Coast; and Pita Kāpiti, the tohunga who taught at the Whare Wānanga called Te Tapere-nui-o-Whātonga near Tikitiki. Anaru Totorewa Reedy thanks the tupuna who have left us this great legacy.

A Teaching Fellowship allowed Anaru Reedy to spend a year in the Department of Māori at UC, 1990–1991, where he worked closely with Dr Margaret Orbell, and he received support for his studies from Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies. At one time Lecturer in Māori at the College of Education, Dunedin, he went on to become Tumuaki Māori with Creative New Zealand. His work on Nga Kōrero a Pita Kāpiti was carried out while he was Fellow in Ngāti Porou Oral History with the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs.

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