Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds
Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins will present an illustrated talk about their book Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds, which uncovers the remarkable story of one of the first Māori travellers to Europe.
In early 1817 Tuai, a young Ngare Raumati chief from the Bay of Islands, set off for England. He was one of a number of Māori who, after encountering European explorers, traders and missionaries in New Zealand, seized opportunities to travel beyond their familiar shores to Australia, England and Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Tuai would visit exotic foreign ports, mix with teeming crowds in the metropolis of London, and witness the marvels of industrialisation at the Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire. With his lively travelling companion Titere, he would attend fashionable gatherings and sit for his portrait. He shared his deep understanding of Māori language and culture. And his missionary friends did their best to convert him to Christianity.
But on returning to his Māori world in 1819, Tuai found there were difficult choices to be made. His plan to integrate new European knowledge and relationships into his Ngare Raumati community was to be challenged by the rapidly shifting politics of the Bay of Islands.
About the Speakers
Alison Jones Kuni Kaa Jenkins
Alison Jones and Kuni Kaa Jenkins are educational researchers who share interests in the Māori origins of the first school in New Zealand and initial Māori engagements with pen and paper.
Alison, a Pākehā, is a Professor in Te Puna Wānanga, the School of Māori and Indigenous Education at the University of Auckland.
Kuni, from Ngāti Porou, is a Professor in Education at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.
Their first book, He Kōrero: Words Between Us – First Māori–Pākehā Conversations on Paper (Huia, 2011), won the Ngā Kupu Ora Māori Book Awards, the PANZ Book Design Award and the Best Book in Higher Education Publishing in 2012.
Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds is shortlisted for the Non-fiction category of the NZ Heritage Book Awards 2017.
Audience question-time will follow this discussion and signed copies of Tuai: A Traveller in Two Worlds will be available for purchase.
Spaces are limited.