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Nation Making, a story of New Zealand


page v


The Maories—the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand—are passing away. Their vigour, humour, and valour show them to have been a remarkable race of savages, in many ways—perhaps the most interesting of all the savage races with which England has come in contact in her career of conquest and colonization.

The Maories are a branch of the Aryan race, and in their language, customs, characteristics, and traditions, possibly present better glimpses of our Aryan ancestors than any nation now in existence. However that may be, there is much about the Maories worth preserving.

Their story is full of picturesque incident and pathetic interest, and is not without historic value.

In this fair young land the stern lessons of the heroic struggles between the two races in the past are page viof romantic interest, and will be of service in the Making of the New Zealand Nation. Nor will the treatment by Colonists of the social and industrial problems affecting mankind be of less interest, because they are largely unfettered by the old time precedent and practice natural to older countries.

Without attempting to write a history of the Maories, I have recorded some of the results of my own extensive observation of the Maori people, which may perhaps not be without use to some future historian, nor yet, I hope, without interest to English, American, and Colonial readers of my story.

J. C. Firth.

Auckland, New Zealand: October 27, 1889.