Notes: A rare Maori hymnal for the Ratana church. Ratana, a Maori religious, political, and social movement, was founded in 1918 in New Zealand by Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana. He saw a vision and began preaching that the Maori and the Japanese were the lost tribe of Israel. The Ratana church advocated for Maori rights and delegations travelled to England and the US seeking support. Its members also played an important role in New Zealand politics.
Early Ratana publications are quite scarce. This book opens with the order of service (15 pages) followed by song lyrics (with the tune noted below each title). The book is not dated, but some of the hymns are and the latest with a year is from 1929.
None of the editions of this book appear to be dated. OCLC records only an edition printed by the Wanganui Herald Newspaper Coy, which produced very few books, all between 1930 and 1940. Another edition, with a slightly different title but the same page count, Pukapuka whakamoemiti, is recorded from Meteor Printers. The National Library of New Zealand speculatively dates that edition to 1930, but the earliest dated Meteor Printers book in their collection is 1954.
The printer of this edition, A. D. Willis, published books in Maori beginning in the 1870s. Without any other copies to compare to, I would say this Willis printing is the earliest of the recorded versions. If I were going to print a book in Maori for the first time, I would turn to an experienced printer of the Maori language and then when new editions were needed, any competent printer could do a photo-offset version.
80 pages. 4 by 6-1/4 inches. Printed in blue ink.
Edition + Condition: First or early printing. Very good in pebbled blue cloth. Previous owner's name obscured with Wite-Out. Very scarce.
Publication: Wanganui, New Zealand: A. D. Willis, Ltd., [1929?].
Item No: #306928