Neil Grove and Hirini Moko Mead

Ngā Pēpeha a ngā Tīpuna: The Sayings of the Ancestors (paperback)

240mm x 165mm
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Winner of the Reference and Anthology category of the 2002 Montana NZ Book Awards

First published 2001
This edition 2023

Kia mau ki te kupu a tou matua.
‘Hold fast to the words of your father.’

Pēpeha are not just proverbs – they include charms, witticisms, figures of speech and boasts. They can be heard every day on the marae and in the oral literature handed down to us.

First published in 2001, Ngā Pēpeha a ngā Tīpuna is a collection of more than 2500 ‘sayings of the ancestors’, gathered by Neil Grove and Tā Hirini Moko Mead over a period of more than twenty years. Through this book, readers reach out to their tīpuna, just as their tīpuna reach out to them.

He kupu ēnei nā ngā tīpuna i tuku mai ki a tātou o ēnei reanga tangata hei taonga tuku iho. Manaakitia whakamahia. Ka puta mai ngā māramatanga a rātou mā hei arataki, hei tohutohu i a tātou.

‘Iti te kupu, nui te kōrero – with only a few words, whakataukī, whakatauāki and pēpeha can add depth and meaning when applied. Like the whakataukī in this collection, this seminal work by Neil Grove and Tā Hirini Moko Mead continues to stand the test of time. Each entry unlocks knowledge systems from our ancestors and this wisdom continues to be just as relevant today. An essential collection for all who engage with te reo Māori and mātauranga Māori but also for those who just need a few words to sum everything up.’ —Prof. Rawinia Higgins (Tūhoe)

'In a world where many Māori are seeking to comprehend the in-depth wisdom of our tūpuna in order to make sense of our present-day realities, this book remains a staple source of infinite teachings. The comprehensive collection of kōrero tuku iho provided within this book offers concrete descriptions of every aspect relevant to our cultural ways of knowing and being. This collection continues to offers us significant insights that help light our path into our unknown future.' —Dr Awanui Te Huia (Ngāti Maniapoto)

'It is rich reading for the variety and poetry of sayings, the cultural philosophy and tribal history they encapsulate, and the relevance of past words to the present . . . for insight into culture and language, Ngā Pepeha a ngā Tipuna invites general readers and is of immense value to students of Māori studies.' —Jane McRae, NZ Books

Cover design: Tane Morris (Ngāi Tahu, Te Ātiawa)

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