Six centuries ago Polynesian explorers arrived in Aotearoa New Zealand, where they rapidly adapted to new plants, animals, landscapes, and climatic conditions. Four centuries later, European explorers arrived with maps and clocks, grids and fences, and they too adapted to a new island home. In this remote, beautiful archipelago, settlers from Polynesia and Europe (and elsewhere) have clashed and forged alliances; they have fiercely debated what is good and what is right. In her most ambitious book to date, Dame Anne Salmond looks at New Zealand as a site of cosmo-diversity, a place where multiple worlds engage and collide. Beginning with a fine-grained inquiry into the early period of encounters between Maori and Europeans in New Zealand (1769–1840), Salmond then investigates such clashes and exchanges in key areas of contemporary life – waterways, land, the sea and people. In New Zealand, concepts of whakapapa and hau – complex networks and reciprocal exchange – may point to new ways of understanding interactions between peoples, and between people and the natural world. Like our ancestors, Anne Salmond suggests, we too may have a chance to experiment across worlds.
About the Author
Dame Anne Salmond is Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies at the University of Auckland and author of books including The Trial of the Cannibal Dog: Captain Cook in the South Seas; Aphrodite's Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti; and Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas. Among many honours and awards, she is an International Member of the American Philosophical Society, a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy; in 2013 she became New Zealander of the Year and winner of the Rutherford Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand.