Outcasts of the Gods?: The Struggle Over Slavery in Maori New Zealand
Tracing ideas of freedom and unfreedom in Maori society, this book is the first history of Maori war captives. 'Us Maoris used to practise slavery just like them poor Negroes had to endure in America...' says Beth Heke in Once Were Warriors. 'Oh those evil colonials who destroyed Maori culture by ending slavery and cannibalism while increasing the life expectancy,' wrote a sarcastic blogger recently. So was Maori slavery 'just like' the experience of Africans in the Americas and were British missionaries or colonial administrators responsible for ending the practice? What was the nature of freedom and unfreedom in Maori society and how did that intersect with British colonists and the anti-slavery movement? This book is the first history of Maori war captives. Drawing on Maori oral sources as well the records of colonists, Petrie analyses freedom and unfreedom in traditional Maori society; the role of economics and mana in shaping captivity; and how the arrival of colonists, trade and war transformed Maori society and the place of captives.
Hazel Petrie has an MA in History and PhD in Maori Studies from the University of Auckland. She has contributed chapters to numerous books on history, ecology and religion, and is the author of Chiefs of Industry: Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand which was shortlisted for the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2007. She won a CLNZ Writers' Award for her work on this book.