Trangressing Tikanga: Captured by Maori: First-hand Accounts 1816-1884

Author(s): Trevor Bentley

New Arrivals | NZ Non-Fiction

Transgressing Tikanga is a collection of 20 first-hand accounts written by Europeans who were captured by Maori between 1816 and 1884. These Pakeha men and women were seized when they either committed blatant acts of aggression or unknowingly transgressed tikanga Maori (customary law), for which utu was required. These captivity narratives are packed with drama and action, and are not always easy reading, but they create a vivid picture of nineteenth-century interactions between Maori and Pakeha. They provide a rich insight into early Maori life, including the principals of captivity and utu, social order, religious practices, everyday customs, and the conduct of warfare. With notes that give detailed historical context, Transgressing Tikanga makes an important contribution to understanding the cross-cultural tensions from which contemporary New Zealand society has emerged.


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Trevor Bentley holds a PhD in history from the University of Waikato and has a special interest in researching, writing and teaching about the interaction of Maori and Pakeha in pre-Treaty New Zealand. His primary focus are the Pakeha who entered Maori tribal societies voluntarily and as captives. Transgressing Tikanga is Bentley's fifth book to explore this subject. A full-time researcher and writer, he lives in Tauranga with his wife, Helen.

Introduction John Rutherford, Tokomaru Bay, East Coast, 1816 Joseph Price, Stewart Island, 1824 Daniel Tyerman, Whangaroa, 1824 John Atkins, Whakatane, 1829 George Budd, Opotiki, Bay of Plenty, 1834 John Guard, Taranaki Coast, 1834 John Harewood, Port Nicholson (Wellington), 1835 Frederick Hunt, Kapiti and Manawatu, 1841 Maria Bennett, somewhere on the New Zealand coast, 1841 Mary Jane Briggs, Taranaki, 1862 H. M. Shepherd, Piako River, Thames, 1864 Herbert Meade, Taratoa Village, Taupo, 1865 Thomas Grace, Opotiki, Bay of Plenty, 1865 Abraham Bennett White, Whakatane, 1865 James Curlett, Bay of Plenty and Waikato, 1867 John Marshall, Chatham Islands, 1868 Maria Morris, Poverty Bay, 1868 Caroline Perrett, Taranaki, 1874 Charles Hursthouse, King Country, 1883 Charles Browne, King Country, 1884 Endnotes Illustration credits Glossary Bibliography

General Fields

  • : 9781988550183
  • : Potton & Burton Limited
  • : Craig Potton Publishing
  • : April 2021
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Trevor Bentley