Notes: The January 1861 and January 1862 issues of this English-Maori periodical (all published). 24 and 32 pages. 5-1/4 by 8-1/4 inches. The imprint and title varies between issues. Title headed by woodcut in issue one.
Charles Oliver Bond Davis (1817–1887), was born in Australia to Irish immigrants and moved to New Zealand about 1830. There he learned Maori and became quite fluent. He became an advocate for the Maori with the national government and published several books and periodicals in an attempt to bridge the cultural gap between the native Maori and the British settlers and their descendants. Aotearoa, titled with the Maori name for New Zealand, was one such effort.
The contents are not simply text in Maori with English translations and vice versa, there are also articles written only in one language. The first issue offers several articles on the history of the Maori Printing Press, established in 1857 to promote Maori views in print. This issue also prints statements from Horopeta and Tomairangi Papahia, two Maori chiefs. The Maori and English texts are intermingled.
In the second and final issue, the Maori text follows the English section. There are articles condemning the lust for gold (an oblique reference to the Gold Rush underway in the country), criticism of the current national government, and various Christian messages.
Rather scarce, with just a small handful of holdings, all in New Zealand. Williams, A Bibliography of Printed Maori to 1900, no. 336; Parkinson, Books in Maori, 1815–1900, S10.
Edition + Condition: Both issues very good, with some minor loss at the spines and the odd small stain. The 1861 issue is bound in blue printed wrappers; the 1862 issue is in yellow.
Publication: Auckland, New Zealand / Akarana: Printed at the "Aotearoa" Office for the Native People / He mea ta i te Perehi o nga Iwi Maori (no. 1) and Printed at the "Recorder" Office / I tala ki a Aotearoa, ki te perehi Maori (no. 2), 1861–1862.
Item No: #306899