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History and traditions of the Maoris of the West Coast, North Island of New Zealand, prior to 1840

[introduction]

page 106

In preceding chapters, we have brought the history of the people we are dealing with down to their arrival, and settling down in New Zealand. It remains to gather up the various threads of story as they have been preserved by the tribes, and endeavour to weave them into something like a continuous history. The amount of data we have for this purpose is considerable; but it is too frequently of a very sketchy nature, and often the incidents cannot be placed in their proper sequence.

But before relating what has been preserved on the above subject, it will be convenient to place on record, so far as may be, an enumeration of the tribes and hapus occupying the Taranaki Coast, taking their names as we find them at the date of the arrival of Europeans in the country. It was at a little before that time that the most momentous events in the history of the Coast occurred, and the tribes known then to be in existence were the actors and sufferers in those troublous times. Northwards of the true Taranaki Coast, or north of Mokau, the series of tribes that occupied those parts should find a mention here also, for we shall constantly come across their names in following out the history of the Taranaki tribes proper.