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Ranginui, Papatuanuku, Maui, Tawhaki . . . our enduring stories retold.

A lively, stimulating and engaging retelling of purakau - Maori myths - by contemporary Maori writers.

Ka mua, ka muri . . .

Ancient Maori creation myths, portrayals of larger-than-life heroes and tales of engrossing magical beings have endured through the ages. Some hail back to Hawaiki, some are firmly grounded in New Zealand and its landscape. Through countless generations, the stories have been reshaped and passed on. This new collection presents a wide range of traditional myths that have been retold by some of our best Maori wordsmiths. The writers have added their own creativity, perspectives and sometimes wonderfully unexpected twists, bringing new life and energy to these rich, spellbinding and significant taonga.

Take a fresh look at Papatuanuku, a wild ride with Maui, or have a creepy encounter with Ruruhi-Kerepo, for these and many more mythical figures await you.

Explore the past, from it shape the future . . .

The contributors are: Jacqueline Carter, David Geary, Patricia Grace, Briar Grace-Smith, Whiti Hereaka, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, Kelly Joseph, Hemi, Kelly, Nic Low, Tina Makereti, Kelly Ana Morey, Paula Morris, Frazer Rangihuna, Renee, Robert Sullivan, Apirana Taylor, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, Clayton Te Kohe, Hone Tuwhare, Briar Wood.


. . . it is a rewarding collection of re-examinations, re-interpretations and, of course, re-creations. It begins in darkness with creation myths and gradually lights up a whole world of ancestors, gods and monsters. . . There is more humour here than you might find in a collection of myths from many other cultures. . . "A collection of Maori myths in updated versions" is one of those ideas that seems blindingly obvious when someone finally gets around to having it. The editors and publishers have brought it to fruition with energy and skill.

North & South

Ihimaera and Hereaka have created an anthology of pre-existing versions and newly commissioned works. At 400 pages, it is the most comprehensive recent encounter with the characters and stories of Maori oral culture, reconfigured for a new world. The updates can be startling. In Maui Goes to Hollywood, David Geary takes the archetypal trickster, and couples him with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, Santa Monica beach, ATMs, the Warriors, cocaine, and the Manly Sea Eagles. It is an audacious revision, which captures perfectly the mythic hero's personality and energy in a bright pop-art, post-modern explosion. . . Recontextualisation is an important feature of the anthology and a vivid tradition is revealed by juxtaposition.

David Herkt, Dominion Post

This is a modern keepsake to treasure and find a new way to connect with myth and legend.

Kapiti News

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    May 7, 2019

    Random House New Zealand

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Trade Paperback


    May 7, 2019

    RHNZ Vintage

    400 pages

    RRP $38.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

James Ormsby Decodes his Tokotoko Form

The drawing of a tokotoko, the walking–talking stick held by speakers on the marae, depicts the versions of the creation myth that tells of Tāne separating Ranginui and Papatūānuku.