The Kaingarara letters : the correspondence of Tamati Te Ito Ngamoke in the A.S. Atkinson papers, 1857-1863.
Thesis DisciplineMaori Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Tamati Te Ito Ngamoke was the leader of the Kaingarara, a body of people who practised distinctive rituals, apparently designed to remove the tapu from sacred places. Kaingarara people also organised a system of local courts for the government of the community, perhaps because they were also supporters of the King Movement, or because they mirrored it. The Kaingarara movement began in Taranaki in the 1850s, where it persisted at least into the early 1860s. A Maori-language record of its life in Taranaki survives in the Arthur Samuel Atkinson Collection, held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. This thesis presents an edited transcription and annotated translation of all the manuscript letters in the Atkinson Collection that were written by or to Tamati Te Ito Ngamoke. The letters are variously personal, political and religious in theme. The annotation locates the Kaingarara's field of operation through the restoration oflost pa and place names to an historical map of Taranaki. It also assembles scattered information about people mentioned in the letters, for example, the important chiefs Erueti Te Whiti, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake, Te Kepa and Wiremu Kingi Te Matakatea as a basis for future explorations and reconstructions of Taranaki worlds. By tracing the English originals of transliterated personal names in the annotation, it offers evidence on baptism rates among Taranaki Maori.