Redemption Songs: A Life of Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki

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Auckland University Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 666 pages
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Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Turuki was one of the best-known Maori leaders of the 19th century. Today he is remembered mostly as a guerrilla fighter: a feared opponent of colonial forces with a price on his head. The stereotype does him little justice. Throughout his adult life, in both war and peace, he sought to redeem his people and the land. He founded the Ringatu church, which continues to this day. The causes of Te Kooti's struggles are larger than personal injustice: he fought a war against land confiscation and illegal land purchases. Though frequently described as a murderer, he limited his attacks—even the most notorious, at Matawhero, Poverty Bay in 1868—to specific targets for precise reasons. Judith Binney has drawn on numerous sources in writing this book. Traces of Te Kooti's many journeys remain throughout the North Island, and he left records of his remarkable life not only in government files but in personal letters and diaries, as well as in songs, stories and sayings among his own people in many places. This biography conveys the Ringatu perspectives alongside a fresh account of major events in New Zealand's 19th-century history.

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User Review  - zappa - LibraryThing

A phenomenal, comprehensive account of the prophetic founder of the maori religio-political movement - and arguably cargo cult - Ringatu. this work is a tour de force. Read full review

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About the author (1995)

Judith Binney is a professor with the University of Auckland Department of History and an expert in the history of Maori-European interactions. She contributes to The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, The New Zealand Journal of History, and other scholarly publications. Binney's book Redemption Songs: A Life of Te Kooti Arikirangi was the winner of the Book of the Year in the Cultural Heritage Section of the Montana Book Awards and was runner-up for the Australian-New Zealand Ernest Scott Award. Nga Morehu: The Survivors was nominated for a Goodman Fielder Wattie Book Award.

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