The protohistoric period of Wairarapa culture history
Mair, Gaela M.
Upon a New Zealand-wide scale the intervening years between 1769 and 1840 were remarkable for the contact, confrontation, interaction and co-operation between Maoris and Europeans. This period of impact of an alien people and culture upon the Maoris and their culture has been described in various ways. (Owens, 1968:21), but the credit for the most useful and least culturally 'loaded' adjective rests with 'protohistoric'. With its flexible chronological connotations it is of particular use to the prehistorian who wishes to compile culture histories of specific areas. It provides a useful framework for the analysis of the culture history and culture change of such disparate areas as the Bay of Islands and the Ureweras. Having assembled data on the local history of each area, it should then be possible to compare, for instance, the processes of culture change within the protohistoric period between areas, irrespective of absolute chronology. […] In conclusion, it should be clear that while this analysis contains information relevant to the study of prehistory, it contributes more to the examination of protohistory per se. This period was notable for accelerating rates of change throughout the world. It is perhaps true that historians and anthropologists have encountered greater difficulties in working with 'dynamic' societies than with those they took to be 'static' in an 'ethnographic present'. The methods of ethnohistorians have been worked out specifically to cope with this time of rapid culture contact and change. These methods are not new; it is believed that their contribution lies: in their combination in the ethnohistorical approach. Since Taylor and Clark urged the adoption of a similar 'conjunctive' approach in prehistory, much progress has been made in prehistoric studies. The conjunctive approach of ethnohistory may be expected to be as fruitful for protohistoric studies, ultimately assisting in the writing of a better culture history. [Extract from Conclusion]
Advisor: Leach, Helen M.
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis