New Zealander of the Year: Dame Anne Salmond

At a Gala Awards Presentation on the 28th February, Dame Anne Salmond was honoured as the 2013 New Zealander of the Year. This award is for a New Zealander who has made, according to the organisers of the award, “a significant contribution to our nation and makes us proud of our country and what can be achieved”. This year’s recipient is a well known author and we have in our collection her eight award winning books on the topics of Māori life and early contacts between Europeans and islanders in Polynesia. Anne Salmond is an eminent historian, writer and academic. She worked closely with Eruera and Amiria Stirling, Te Whaanau-a-Apanui and Ngati Porou elders, and this collaboration led to her first three books. Here are her books in reverse chronological order.

Syndetics book coverBligh : William Bligh in the South Seas / Anne Salmond.
“Aphrodite’s Island is a bold new account of the European discovery of Tahiti, the Pacific island of mythic status in Western imaginings about sexuality, the exotic, and the nobility or bestiality of ‘savages’. In this groundbreaking book, Anne Salmond takes readers to the centre of these societies’ shared history to furnish rich insights into Tahitian perceptions of the visitors while illuminating the full extent of European fascination with Tahiti. As she discerns the impact and meaning of the European effect on the island, she demonstrates how, during the early contact period, the mythologies of Europe and Tahiti intersected and became entwined.Drawing on Tahitian oral histories, European manuscripts and artworks, and collections of Tahitian artifacts, and illustrated with sketches, paintings, and engravings from the voyages, Aphrodite’s Island provides a vivid account of the Europeans’ Tahitian adventures. The book’s many compelling insights into Tahitian life will significantly change the way we view the history of this small island during a period when it became a crossroads for Europe.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe trial of the cannibal dog : Captain Cook in the South Seas / Anne Salmond.
“The Pacific voyages of James Cook sailed across perilous tropical seas, survived hurricanes and volcanic eruptions, discovered unknown lands and peoples and made their Captain an icon of imperial history.” “Yet, as Anne Salmond shows, the story of these epic South Sea journeys is far more than one of conquest and control. She has devoted a lifetime to the study of relations between Europeans and Polynesians, and this startling, rich, stylish book is the result. In Salmond’s account, Cook’s great voyages regain their dreamlike quality as they encounter the last major human communities untouched by wider worlds. Far from being little wooden islands of Englishness in a Polynesian sea, his ships and the men in them are as much changed by what happens as the islanders they meet. We see them alarmed and entranced by the islanders’ open sexuality, shocked by human sacrifice and cannibalism, but also forging relationships with Pacific Island friends and lovers, acquiring tattoos and learning to speak Polynesian languages, with Cook himself granted the status of high chief in many areas before his violent downfall.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverBetween worlds : early exchanges between Maori and Europeans, 1773-1815 / Anne Salmond.
“This book follows on from ‘Two Worlds’ which covered the period from Abel Tasman’s visit to Cook’s in 1772, and explores the time from Cook’s second visit to the establishment of the first missionary settlement. It is in three parts: science and whakapapa; utu, law and commerce; and tapu and religion. It is illustrated with black and white images and maps, and includes an appendix detailing the many visits by European ships during the period.” (Syndetics summary)

Two worlds : first meetings between Maori and Europeans, 1642-1772 / Anne Salmond.
“This book is a provocative synthesis of two previously seperate views of the dramatic action-packed first meetings of Māori and Europeans in New Zealand. The result is a work of trail blazing significance in which many popular misconceptions and bigotries to do with common perceptions of traditional Māori society are revealed. It also opens up new possibilities in the international study of European exploration and ‘discovery’.” (Adapted from front cover)

Eruera, the teachings of a Maori elder / Eruera Stirling as told to Anne Salmond.
“The book is concerned to preserve the traditional knowledge Eruera Stirling had himself received from tribal elders. There is an outline tribal history, and an account of life in his youth. Concepts such as mana, matauranga and whakapapa are discussed, as well as recent important events in New Zealand race relations. The book won the Wattie Book Award in 1981. ‘Two Worlds’, Anne Salmond’s most recent book, won a Wattie Award and the New Zealand Book Award for non-fiction in 1991.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmiria : the life story of a Maori woman / Amiria Manutahi Stirling ; as told to Anne Salmond.
“Amiria Manutahi Stirling was born at Taumata-o-mihi, a small settlement near Ruatoria on the East Coast. She was a member of the Ngāti Hinekehu sub-tribe of Ngāti Porou. In 1918 her elders arranged her marriage to Eruera Stirling of Te Whānau-ā-Maru in the Bay of Plenty, a match aimed at strengthening traditional links between two groups. The story of her life and marriage is told in this book.” (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverHui : a study of Maori ceremonial gatherings / Anne Salmond.
“This book introduces us to all aspects of the hui and its significance for the Māori. It is a definitive study of ceremonial gatherings and the riruals that are the life blood of the marae. She presents a comprehensive account of Māori ceremonial gatherings for the formal student of ethnology and anthropology and provides absorbing reading for the lay person, Māori and Pākehā, with an interest in Māoritanga.” (Adapted from front cover)