Knowledge Is A Blessing On Your Mind

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A collection of Dame Anne Salmond’s writings over forty years – from Hui and Eruera, through The Trial of the Cannibal Dog and to today’s debates about race and Te Tiriti.

‘In te reo, the Māori language, people often speak about different “worlds” – te ao Māori and te ao Pākehā, the Māori and European “worlds” or ways of living; te ao tawhito and te ao hou, the old and new worlds, before and after European arrival; te pō, the dark world of the ancestors, and te ao mārama, the world of light, the everyday world we all inhabit.

It’s a way of naming different realities, different ways of being. In between, there’s always a space of encounter and emergence, chaotic and uncertain – te ao hurihuri, for example, the spinning world between Māori and Pākehā, the life of the ancestors and contemporary experience. That’s a difficult, but fascinating realm to navigate.’

For fifty years, Dame Anne Salmond has navigated ‘te ao hurihuri’ – travelling to hui in her little blue VW Beetle with Eruera and Amiria Stirling in the 1970s, working for a university marae alongside Merimeri Penfold, Patu Hohepa and Wharetoroa Kerr in the 1980s, giving evidence to the Waitangi Tribunal on the meaning of Te Tiriti in the 2000s. From Hui to The Trial of the Cannibal Dog to today’s debates about the future of Aotearoa, Anne Salmond has explored who we are to each other.

This book traces Anne Salmond’s journey as an anthropologist, as a writer and activist, as a Pākehā New Zealander, as a friend, wife and mother. The book brings together her key writing on the Māori world, cultural contact, Te Tiriti and the wider Pacific – much of it appearing in book form for the first time – and embeds these writings in her life and relationships, her travels and friends.

This is the story of Aotearoa and the story of one woman’s pathway through our changing land.

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ISBN: 9781869409906
Auckland University Press
Publication date:
9 November 2023
Pages: 608