To Tatau Waka

To Tatau Waka

In Search of Maori Music

Mervyn McLean


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This account of an ethnomusicologist's experience conducting fieldwork offers a glimpse into the life of New Zealand's Maori people through his documentation of traditional songs. The audio recordings included span 1958 through 1979, a time when many of the culture's traditions were fading. Sensitive writing and attention to the challenges of anthropological fieldwork shed light on postcolonialism in New Zealand and its effects on Maori and Polynesian cultures and the continuance of traditional music.


Mervyn McLean:
Mervyn McLean is a former associate professor of ethnomusicology and the director of the archive of Maori and Pacific music at University of Auckland. He is the author of Maori Music and Weavers of Song and the coauthor of Songs of a Kaumatua and Traditional Songs of the Maori.