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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)

The Value of Maori Study

The Value of Maori Study.

It cannot, of course, be held that French need not be taught because very few need to use it. Latin and French enter so much into our English language that it is essential they should be part of any system of education. There is the literary and cultural value that needs no stressing. But it is not a question of substitution or replacing any other language with Maori. It is simply claimed that it is of at least equal value.

There is a great literary value in the classic Maori legends and history and folk-lore that make up the very soul of the race and give interest to so much of the country itself. How dull and dead is a land which has no poetic background, which lacks the salt and fire of an ancient warrior tradition! The Maori and the pakeha contact with the Maori supply that element in New Zealand. There is a vast amount preserved in books; but there is more than that. The tongue is a living tongue, though often sadly misused, because in these quickly changing times it is not taught to the young generation.