Story: European ideas about Māori

The Aryan Maori

The Aryan Maori

In 1885 former surveyor Edward Tregear published The Aryan Maori, which argued that Māori were descendants of an Aryan people who had emerged in India. Some had migrated westwards to northern Europe and Britain, and others had moved eastwards into the Pacific and eventually to New Zealand. Thus the British and Māori peoples were part of one Aryan race. Tregear used linguistic evidence to argue his case, and he claimed that the Sanskrit word for cow had echoes in the Māori language. This explains the image of a cow on the cover of the book.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: B-K 601-COVER

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

James Belich, 'European ideas about Māori - The Aryan Māori and other stereotypes', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/document/29883/the-aryan-maori (accessed 6 December 2019)

Story by James Belich, published 5 May 2011