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Rangatira

3.42  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Auckland, June 1886. Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu spends long sessions, over three long days, having his portrait painted by the Bohemian painter Gottfried Lindauer. Hearing of Lindauer's planned trip to England reminds him of his own journey there, twenty years earlier, with a party of northern rangatira. As he sits for Lindauer, Paratene retreats deeper and deeper in ...more
Published (first published October 31st 2011)
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Megan
Mar 09, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
Shelves: new-zealand
An interesting snippet of New Zealand history although I wish it didn't spend so much time foreshadowing and then focusing on the negative of the trip - it came across as a giant whinge where no character acted as they should and I'm not sure what the message the author was trying to get across by choosing to highlight this so much.

But the reason I only gave the book three stars was the writing style. I expected more. The narrator's voice doesn't resonate with the wisdom of a man who lived throu
...more
Bronwen Jones
Sep 21, 2013 Bronwen Jones rated it it was amazing
I was quickly hooked into this fusty old rangatira's incredible story, and stayed hooked all the way through. Fascinating. Extremely well written.
Kelly Gardiner
Jan 11, 2017 Kelly Gardiner rated it it was amazing
This story of the many cultural interactions between Maori and the colonising British is powerfully told in the voice of Paratene Te Manu - meditative and ultimately very moving.
Kiwiflora
Oct 01, 2012 Kiwiflora rated it liked it
It has taken some years for Paula Morris to finish her meticulously crafted and told tale of her tupuna's (ancestor's) journey to England in 1863. Her tupuna was Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu. He was a fierce warrior who fought with Hone Heke against other tribes, and fully embraced the arrival of the European with their muskets and other influences. After a time he converted to Christianity, quickly taking on the mores and ways of the European Christians around him. In 1863, now an exemplary ...more
Caroline Barron
Oct 15, 2014 Caroline Barron rated it really liked it
Once again, Paul Morris dances the fine tightrope between fact and fiction with a meticulously researched novel based on real characters and in this case real paintings. Rangatira is the astonishing story of a group of high-born Maori who tour England in 1863 with Wesleyan Mr. Jenkins. The story is told through the first person narration of Paratene Te Manu, a now-elderly Ngati Wai chief (rangatira) looking back over his life. In England the group are the toast of the town, meeting Queen Victori ...more
Lisa
Nov 19, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Yahoo ANZLitLovers
Rangatira, by New Zealand author Paula Morris (of English and Ngati Wai (Maori) descent), is a most interesting book, particularly for those of us who are not very familiar with New Zealand history. It is a recreation of the true story of the author’s ancestor, Ngati Wai chief Paratene Te Manu, who was one of a group of 14 Maori who visited England in 1863-4. The title, Rangatiri is especially apt because while it refers specifically to Maori chiefs, it also has connotations of leadership, and t ...more
S. Austin
I found this a fascinating read. Paula Morris deals with notions of New Zealand identity and the often uncomfortable relationship between 19th Century England and the people of colonial territories. Using the portrait of the rangitira Paratene as a way in to the story, we see the way Maori were frequently misrepresented to the world - either because cultural nuances (such as the significance of moko and cultural dress) were lost in translation, or because the Pakeha representing them sought to u ...more
Jakey Gee
Dec 26, 2012 Jakey Gee rated it liked it
NZ Book Award winner 2012.

Likeable, low key and pretty deft. I like the ambiguity of the point of view (if someone told me it'd been described as 'revisionist' it wouldn't surprise me) and the handling of memory and historical judgement. We never really get a clear idea of Jenkins' intentions; who is and who isn't in portraits. Nice epilogue too... obviously a work of love.
Marjorie Doole
Dec 18, 2011 Marjorie Doole rated it really liked it
I found this a beautifully written book which, though a novel, detals a real episode in the author's ancestor's life. This was his trip to England in 1863/4 with a number of other rangitira where they were feted by the aristocracy including royalty and then travelled more mundanely through England giving talks. The book moves slowly narrated by Paratene but is very compelling reading.
Chris F
A good story, which I mostly relly enjoyed. however, I didn't find the narrator convincing as a nineteenth century Rangatira (Maori chief), more the authors vehicle to tell the story as she wanted to. Still the story was worth the read.
David Ferguson
Jun 14, 2014 David Ferguson rated it liked it
Very well researched with subtle and sympathetic use of artistic license. A story for all New Zealanders.
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Paula Morris, a novelist and short story writer of English and Maori descent, was born in New Zealand. For almost a decade she worked in the record business in London and New York. She now lives in New Orleans, where she teaches creative writing at Tulane University.

Paula's first novel, Queen of Beauty, won best first work of fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Hibiscus Coast, a l
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