The New Zealand Collection Presents: This week in History: March 1st – 7th

This week in history takes us to Opotiki in 1865 where Rev Carl Völkner was hanged. We also find out that in 1947 The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra held their debut concert in Wellington and in 1960 Barry Crump’s A Good Keen Man was published. The New Zealand Collection is located on the second floor of The Central Library. Each week we feature a number of topics that make up the This Week in History display in the NZ Collection. In this blog we also suggest other collections and resources that can be accessed via the internet or at the Central Library to find out more about each topic. As usual this week’s selected topics come from the Today in History page at nzhistory.net.nz.

On the 2nd March 1865 Carl Sylvius Völkner, was hung at Ōpōtiki.
Followers of the Pai Marire religion were blamed for his death. Völkner was suspected of spying for the Government. Following his death the government responded with military reprisals and his killers were hunted down. Local people from Eastern Bay of Plenty tribes were arrested and some executed and large areas of land were confiscated from the tribes. The New Zealand Collection has recently added a new book about Volkner ‘Journey to a hanging’ by Peter Wells.

Syndetics book coverJourney to a hanging / Peter Wells.
“In 1865, Rev Carl Sylvius Völkner was hanged, his head cut off, his eyes eaten and his blood drunk from his church chalice. One name – Kereopa Te Rau (Kaiwhatu: The Eye-eater) – became synonymous with the murder. In 1871 he was captured, tried and sentenced to death. But then something remarkable happened. Sister Aubert and William Colenso – two of the greatest minds in colonial New Zealand – came to his defence. Regardless, Kereopa Te Rau was hanged in Napier Prison. But even a century and a half later, the events have not been laid to rest. Questions continue to emerge: Was it just? Was it right? Was Kereopa Te Rau even behind the murder? And who was Völkner – was he a spy or an innocent?” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverBeyond the imperial frontier : the contest for colonial New Zealand / Vincent O’Malley.
“An exploration of the different ways Māori and Pākehā ‘fronted’ one another – the zones of contact and encounter – across the nineteenth century. Beginning with a pre-1840 era marked by significant cooperation, Vincent O’Malley details the emergence of a more competitive and conflicted post-Treaty world.” (Publisher information)

Online databases available on the library website can also be used to access information on this topic such as the National Library site where you can view pictures, documents and maps relevant to this subject.

volkner
Retrieved from:Kinder, John, 1819-1903. Kinder, John 1819-1903 :Carl Sylvius Volkner. Ref: 1/2-059698-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22913269

Kereopa Te Rau was captured in the Urewera in November 1871. He had been wanted by by the colonial authorities for his part in the killing of the Reverend Carl Völkner. He was brought to Napier by steamer and handed over to the police on November 28. From the Papers Past database you can read his defense as reported in the Colonist in 1872.

Kereopa
Kereopa Te Rau. Carnell, Samuel 1832-1920 :Maori portrait negatives. Ref: 1/4-022022-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22675527

The 6th March saw the 1947 debut performance of the NZ Symphony Orchestra.
Due to the success of the 1940 Centennial Celebrations with the performances of the Centennial Festival Orchestra the government was encouraged to form a National Orchestra. Delayed by the Second World War it wasn’t until 1947 that the idea of having a permanent National Orchestra came to fruition. In 1946 first rehearsals were held and and Andersen Tyrer was appointed conductor and Vincent Aspey orchestra leader. The debut concert was held in Wellington’s Town Hall. Wellington Libraries hold over 100 titles in a large collection of the orchestra’s music and there are a number of books that celebrate the orchestra’s anniversaries.

Syndetics book coverBravo! : the NZSO at 50 / Joy Tonks.
Joy Tonks, the NZSO’s historian, archivist and former personnel manager, has written a lively account of the human side of the orchestra’s life on and off stage. Chapters cover the players, the maestros, the concertmasters, the guest artists and overseas tours.(adapted from front cover)

On the 3rd March in 1960 Barry Crump’s novel A Good Keen Man was published.
Barry Crump had a reputation as the iconic ‘Kiwi bloke’. He had survived a violent childhood and was criticised for how he treated his wives and his children. He told his stories with humour and highlighted rural New Zealand in more than 20 books. Crump was often referred to as a ‘man’s man’ who could tell a great yarn. We hold a number of biographies and a large collection of his fiction writing

Barry Crump Collection
Barry Crump’s books from the NZ Collection

Syndetics book coverIn endless fear : a true story / Colin Crump.
“Autobiography by Colin Crump, brother of well-known novelist, Barry Crump, in which he writes about the abusive childhood he shared with Barry and their other siblings. Text is supplemented with family photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

A life in loose strides : the story of Barry Crump / Colin Hogg.
“Barry Crump’s life was the best story he ever wrote. This iconic, hardcase Kiwi impressed a whole nation with his oversized personality. ‘A Life in Loose Strides’ throw’s Crump’s wild, wayward and extraordinary life and works back onto the page, getting inside a man who learned to hide behind his own myth.” (adapted from back cover)

Tautohe, Tiriti, Tikanga – Māori recent picks

Wars and weapons figure strongly in this month’s books, but a wonderful reprint of essays by Roger Neich enriched with superb illustrations holds pride of place for me. Also included, a collection of poetry by Hinemoana Baker, and an interesting play Te Keni by Michalanne Forster along with the story of printer William Woon.

Syndetics book coverWaha = Mouth / Hinemoana Baker.
Hinemoana Baker is the “author of two collections of poetry, … edits the online journal of Whitireia New Zealand’s Creative Writing Programme, and co-edited the anthropology Kaupapa : New Zealand poets, World Issues… In 2009 she was the Arts Queensland Poet in Residence ; in 2010 she was one of 38 writers in residence at the University of Iowa International Writing Programme ; and in 2014 she is writer in residence at Victoria University in Wellington”– Inside cover.

Syndetics book coverBeyond the imperial frontier : the contest for colonial New Zealand / Vincent O’Malley.
“Beyond the Imperial Frontier is an exploration of the different ways Maori and Pakeha ‘fronted’ one another – the zones of contact and encounter – across the nineteenth century. Beginning with a pre-1840 era marked by significant cooperation, Vincent O’Malley details the emergence of a more competitive and conflicted post-Treaty world. As a collected work, these essays also chart the development of a leading New Zealand historian.” (Syndetics summary)

William Woon 1803-1858 : Wesleyan printer in Tonga and New Zealand / Gary A. M. Clover.
“The Wesleyan mission press played a supplementary but useful part…Woon’s [printings] helped to introduce a whole generation of Tongan and Maori scholars to the world of reading and writing which alone would have been enough to transform their societies into at least semi-literate ones. Because they were printed solely in the two indigenous languages, Woon was among those who were instrumental in putting Christian ideas and values, into the hands and minds of avid readers in both islands…His printing was therefore one key factor in the successful Christian evangelism of both lands”–[C J Parr, in, A missionary library]–inside back cover.

Syndetics book coverJourney to a hanging / Peter Wells.
“Part history, part biography, part social commentary, this fascinating book is about infamous events that shook New Zealand to its core. In 1865, Rev Carl Sylvius Volkner was hanged, his head cut off, his eyes eaten and his blood drunk from his church chalice. One name – Kereopa Te Rau (Kaiwhatu: The Eye-eater) – became synonymous with the murder. In 1871 he was captured, tried and sentenced to death. But then something remarkable happened. Sister Aubert and William Colenso – two of the greatest minds in colonial New Zealand – came to his defence. Regardless, Kereopa Te Rau was hanged in Napier Prison. But even a century and a half later, the events have not been laid to rest. Questions continue to emerge: Was it just? Was it right? Was Kereopa Te Rau even behind the murder? And who was Volkner – was he a spy or an innocent? In a personal quest, author Peter Wells travels back into an antipodean heart of darkness and illuminates how we try to make sense of the past, how we heal, remember – and forget.” (Syndetics summary)

Downfall : three New Zealand history plays / Michelanne Forster.
“Downfall offers an opportunity to look at the history of New Zealand through a dramatic lens. Te Keni explores the fraught relationship between Maori and Pakeha in the early colonial period. Larnach reveals the dynamics of the prominent family who established Larnach Castle in Dunedin. My Heart is Bathed in Blood examines the tragic implications of a relationship between two young medical students. Each play is introduced with an essay that provides historical context and performance history. Downfall is ideal for students and teachers of drama and for those with an interest in New Zealand’s rich heritage”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)
Te Keni is a story of Thomas Kendall, Hongi Hika, and Samuel Marsden. Much of the work was written during Peter Wells’ Ursula Bethell writing residency at the Unversity of Canterbury, 1993 — pp. 209-210.

Syndetics book coverMāori tales of love, war & mana / David Simmons.
“Maori Tales of Love War and Mana has been written after more than 60 years of research and field work with the author talking with local elders as well as working from the Otago Museum and Auckland War Memorial Museum (of which he was for a time Assistant Director) where he collected local traditions from throughout New Zealand, in places as widespread as the Far North, Fiordland and the Chatham Islands. More than 50 tales are related and include local versions of popular traditions and tribal history. The stories follow great Maori battles and migrations through New Zealand. The book is organised into Maori regions, including remote areas such as Fiordland and Chathams. Some of the tales have not been previously published; others given a local slant to more familiar traditions. Includes extensive references and indices. Illustrated with wood engravings by the Late E. Mervyn Taylor, leading artist of mid-20th century. David Simmons is a distinguished scholar and author of several popular books about Maori history and culture.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMāori weapons in pre-European New Zealand / Jeff Evans.
An introduction to the weapons that made up the armoury of tribes in pre-European New Zealand. Drawing on historical sources and contemporary expertise the author explains the manufacture, maintenance and use of each of the principal weapons: two handed weapons (including pouwhenua and tewatewha), patu and mere, spears (including huata and tokotoko), and other weapons (including hoeroa and oka).

Tradition and change in Māori and Pacific art : essays / by Roger Neich : edited by Chanel Clarke, Fuli Pereira and Nigel Prickett.
“This is Roger’s final gift to te ao M`qori, the Māori world. His impeccable scholarship, his skilled analysis, and his quiet sensitivity produced works of enduring value and excellence. For academics, he set a daunting standard ; to Māori and Pacific researchers, he offered genuine opportunity. He was generous, and humble, and he left us far too soon. E te Rangatira, moe mai ra”–Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (back page).

The Battle of Ōrākau : Māori veterans’ accounts : commemorating the 150th anniversary 1864-2014 / compiled and introduced by Robert Joseph and Paul Meredith.
“The Battle of Ōrākau was fought near Kihikihi from 31 March to 2 April 1864 by a contingent of approximately 300 Māori (including women and children) from Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Te Kohera, Ngāti Apakura, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Manawa, Ngāti Whare, Patuheuheu, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Maniapoto among other tribes”–Page 1.
Includes korero on Rewi Manga Maniapoto. Hitiri Te Paerata, Paitini Wi Tapeka, Te Huia Raureti, Winitana Tupotahi, Poupatate Te Huihi, Te Wairoa Piripi, Peita Kotuku, Te Putene Umanga / Te Rutene Te Uamairangi?, Harehare Atarea.

Syndetics book coverNew myths and old politics : the Waitangi Tribunal and the challenge of tradition / Tipene O’Regan.
“”Negotiating a claim before the Waitangi Tribunal can involve troubling challenges to an iwi’s legitimacy, sometimes from unexpected places. In this unique behind-the-scenes account of the negotiation of Ngai Tahu’s Waitangi Tribunal claim, Sir Tipene O’Regan describes what happened when claims of New Age mysticism attempted to undermine traditional whakapapa and academic scholarship”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)

Te tū hanga whare o Whetū = The rebuilding of Te Whetū o Te Rangi / Des Tatana Kahotea.
“”This is a photo-ethnography, a book that documents the rebuilding of a wharenui (meeting house). A project over a period from late 2006 that was planned, built and opened on December 20 2008 at Ngapeke, Tauranga. This is a Ngati Pukenga marae, an iwi of Mataatua waka origin. The original wharenui opened in 1915 was severely damaged by fire in September 2006. The people of the marae were determined to replace the wharenui with a new building complete with wharenui art. They undertook the creation of the wharenui art of kowhaiwhai, tukutuku and raranga whariki themselves and wood-carving was both commissioned and donated. This is a record of the activity that took place and the people who were involved. The book particularly shows some of the Maori customs associated with the re-building of a wharenui”–Publisher information.” (Syndetics summary)