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Title: John Webster and Taua Muru: The Space Between Cultures in 1840s Hokianga 
Author: Ashton, Jennifer
Date: 2009
Publisher: Honolulu: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Citation: Ashton, J. 2009. John Webster and Taua Muru: The Space Between Cultures in 1840s Hokianga. In The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific, edited by A. Marata Tamaira, 71-80. Occasional Paper Series 44. Honolulu, Hawai‘i: Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
Abstract: In 1847, a taua muru, or hostile raiding expedition, was conducted by a group of Māori on land occupied by John Webster, a British settler and trader. The purpose of the raid was to reclaim goods the party believed had been wrongly taken by three of Webster’s Māori workers. Although the taua muru was primarily between Māori participants and was carried out largely according to Māori custom, the involvement of Webster and other Pākehā in the melee created a space between, where the norms of both cultures were able to coexist. In that space, both Māori and Pākehā may have wanted their own cultural conventions to exclusively apply, but when it came to dealing with each other they were forced to accept their limitations. This article uses the taua muru as a case study to examine the emergence of new cultural forms and their impact on one British settler whose imperial identity was challenged in an environment where his and other settlers’ racial and cultural superiority could not be assumed.
Series/Report No.: Occasional Papers no. 44 / Center for Pacific Islands Studies
Occasional paper series / Center for Pacific Islands Studies, School of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Description: Paper submitted to The Space Between: Negotiating Culture, Place, and Identity in the Pacific; based on the indigenous Oceanic concept, va, a space marked by tension and transformation and by confluences and connections
Pages/Duration: 10 p.
ISSN: 0897-8905
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/14688
Keywords: New Zealand, Hokianga, culture contact, Māori, Pākehā, taua muru

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