Celebrating the Southern Seasons: Rituals for Aotearoa

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Tandem Press, 1995 - Anniversaries - 208 pages
2 Reviews
Subtitled 'Rituals for Aotearoa', the book gives information about customs, symbols and stories relating to seasonal change from Maori and European perspectives. It examines the meeting of the two dominant cultures of Aotearoa, and provides an overview of seasonal celebrations. Each seasonal section examines the heritage from Maori, pagan and Christian European traditions and offers suggestions for developing and structuring rituals.

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While the ideas in this book are beautifully presented. One can't get away from the huge historical inaccuracies in the introduction. Batten has made some very big mistakes with regards to ancient British history.
QUOTE
[The Celts] ..''were an elite tribe of Aryan origins who went through a gradual change as they swept across Europe assimilating many of values of old neolithic cultures as they settled across various parts of the continent, moving on into the British Isles around 500BCE.
*This is not correct as the Celts were not a united tribe of people spread across Europe, united by a common ethnicity. The idea of a singular Celtic identity was an 18th century construct.
QUOTE
''The Celts were colonised, first by the invading Anglo-Saxons in the fifth century BCE and later by the Romans who brought Christianity with them.''
However actually...
*The Roman conquest occurred in AD43
* St. Columba, an Irish priest later canonised as a saint was the first to bring Christianity to the British Isles via the island of Iona off the west coast of Scotland in the 1st Century AD.
*The Anglo Saxons (Germanic tribes of pagan barbarians) arrived in Britain circa 410 AD, at the same time Roman Britain largely dissapeared.
*Christianity was a minor cult, and was not practiced in a largely Pagan Britain, until the Normans invaded Britain in 1066 and started building monasteries and so on.
This is a great reference book for Maori and Celtic ritual, however the huge historical inaccuracies did spoil the experience for me a bit.
For factual information see here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_prehistory/peoples_01.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columba
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/history/uk_1.shtml
 

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