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Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary


page xii


I have to thank certain authors for the advantages I have received from their works, and without which I should have been unable to present my dictionary in so complete a form. First of these valuable books is Williams's New Zealand Dictionary. Although I have made considerable additions to the stock of Maori words, the work of Bishop and Archdeacon Williams (father and son) has been the basis of my structure, as it has been for many years the authority and reference for all Maori and English translators. Its fidelity and usefulness is so widely recognised that no word of praise from me would raise it in public estimation. The literary productions of Sir George Grey, Sir James Hector, Sir Walter Buller, the Rev. W. Colenso,* Dr. Shortland, Professor Kirk, Mr. John White (all of New Zealand), Judge Fornander, of Hawaii; H.M. the King of Hawaii; Judge Andrews, of Hawaii; the Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, of Mangaia; the Rev. George Pratt, of Samoa; the Rev. R. H. Codrington, of Melanesia, have all been largely drawn upon, and have been of inestimable service.

With deep gratitude I acknowledge my obligations for generous co-operation given to me by the following scholars, some of them my warm friends, others the more valued because their assistance has been rendered to one personally unknown. Foremost of these (because not of my own nation) I have to thank three distinguished Frenchmen. From Monseigneur l'Evêque d'Axieri, author of the Tahitian Dictionary, I received Marquesan, Paumotan, and Mangarevan vocabularies with French equivalents. These vocabularies, collected long ago, and thus more valuable, were in MSS., the Mangarevan being especially a unique and priceless document. From him I also received many letters full of the learned counsel and guidance inseparable from the words of one grown to a venerable old age in doing noble and self-forgetful service—service which has endeared him alike to Native and European, Catholic and Protestant. To his Excellency M. Lacascade, Governor of the French possessions in Oceania; and to M. le Vicomte de Jouffroy d'abbans, late Vice-consul for the French Republic, Wellington, N.Z. (now in Switzerland), I beg to express my obligations for their courtesy and assistance.

Of my own countrymen the list is long. Some have put their collections at my service; some have answered difficult questions as to Polynesian vocabularies or mythology; others have taken the trouble to consult aged Maori chiefs in different parts of the country as to obsolete or doubtful words. The Rev. W. Wyatt Gill, B.A. (author of Myths and Songs of the South Pacific, Savage Life in Polynesia, &c., &c.); the late Judge Fornander, of Hawaii (author of The Polynesian Race); Miss Teuira Henry, of Tahiti; Mr. A. Shand, Chatham Islands; the Rev. J. L. Green, of Tahiti; Professor Alexander, Surveyor-General of Hawaii; Mr. J. L. Young, of Tahiti; the Rev. W. Colenso, F.R.S., of Napier, N.Z.; the late Mr. C. O. Davis (author of Maori Mementoes), N.Z.; Mr. J. White (author of The Ancient History of the Maori), N.Z.; Mr. Geo. Davies, interpreter, Native Department, N.Z.; Mr. Percy Smith, F.R.G.S., Surveyor General N.Z.; Sir James Hector, F.R.S., of Wellington, N.Z.; Rev. A. Williams, of Putiki, Whanganui, N. Z.; Major Mair, Judge of the Native Land Court; Mr. T. W. Kirk, F.R.M.S., Wellington, N.Z.; Mr. H. Hadfield, interpreter to the Legislative Council; Mr. Butler, native lands purchase agent; Mr. Stevens, of Ardmore, Papakura (an accomplished Malayan scholar); Mr. George Pou (Te Pou Tawera), interpreter, Native Department; Mr. Pratt (Te Parata), interpreter, Native Department.

Last, but not least, I have to acknowledge the generosity and love of literature displayed by Mr. J. R. Blair (Messrs Lyon & Blair) in publishing this book. To his enterprise I owe the fact that I am able to present a technical book bristling with typographical difficulties in a manner the accuracy of which is a credit to the publishing firm and to this young colony.

E. T.

Wellington, New Zealand

* Students of the New Zealand language have long looked forward with interest to the production of the great lexicon undertaken many years ago by the Rev. W. Colenso, F.R.S. Circumstances beyond the author's control have again and again delayed its appearance, but so useful and valuable would be the work of a scholar singularly fitted by nature, occupation, and education to produce a unique book on the word-forms of a race fast passing away, that those who, like myself, take interest in the study of obscure languages, cannot even yet give up hope that philology may benefit by the lexicon being born into the world of letters. At an advanced age, when the minds of most men fail, there still remains with our veteran scholar scientific ardour and intellectual power sufficient, should he so will, to bring his life-work to a successful close, and to give us that special knowledge which, in New Zealand, rests with him alone.