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Whaikorero: The World of Māori Oratory – Poia Rewi (2010)

Anyone who has been welcomed on to a marae in New Zealand will understand that whaikōrero – oratory – is at the heart of Māori culture and this significant work is the first introduction to this fundamental Māori art to be widely published.

Publication details

Rewi, P. Whaikōrero: The World of Māori Oratory. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2010.

About the book

Whaikōrero: The World of Māori Oratory by Professor Poia Rewi (Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Te Arawa) is the first introduction to this fundamental Māori art to be widely published. It is based on broad research as well as oral histories from 30 of the leading exponents of whaikōrero, many of whom have subsequently died. Professor Rewi’s informants are affiliated to many iwi including Tūhoe, Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Arawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Waikato-Maniapoto, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whare.

In Whaikōrero, Rewi assesses the origin and history of whaikōrero; its structure, language and style of delivery; who may speak; and where speech happens. Featuring a range of sample whaikōrero drawn from both oral and literary sources, the book provides examples for Te Reo Māori learners wishing to improve their whaikōrero skills as well as being a major resource for all readers interested in Māori culture.

This publication was the winner of NZSA Best First Book Awards: E.H. McCormick Award for Non-Fiction, 2011.

Further information 


This publication is part of the series Te Takarangi: Celebrating Māori publications - a sample list of 150 non-fiction books produced by a partnership between Royal Society Te Apārangi and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga.