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A Grammar and Vocabulary of the Language of New Zealand
London,: R. Watts,, 1820.. Duodecimo; some staining, original binding error with a few leaves bound upside-down; generally very good in the original plain linen binding. Very rare: 'the foundation of all books printed in Maori' (Andersen).Thomas Kendall was one of the very first missionaries to work in New Zealand, taking part in a preliminary expedition to New Zealand in 1814 with Peter Dillon (who later solved the mystery of the disappearance of La PÈrouse).Kendall studied hard to master the Maori language, and in 1815 produced a Maori-English primer which was printed by George Howe in Sydney. In 1816 he opened a school for Maori children, but severe administrative difficulties plagued the project. In 1820 he returned to England, accompanied by the Maori chiefs Hongi and Waikato, with the aim of recording a grammar of the Maori language for the use of missionaries. Together with Samuel Lee, professor of Oriental Languages, Kendall and the two Maoris worked in Cambridge for two months preparing the grammar. During the visit, Kendall was ordained by the bishop of Norwich. He returned to New South Wales in 1827 taking up a land grant at Ulladulla. His grandson was the poet Henry Kendall.The grammar consists of an attempt at a phonetic alphabet, an analysis of the language with rules for grammar, translations of songs and prayers, and translations of "familiar" dialogues, which provide a remarkable insight into the interaction between the Maoris and European settlers at the time. This example: 'What hast thou to sell?' 'Potatoes'. 'What is the exchange?' 'A musket', is of particular significance given that Kendall was dismissed in 1823 for trading in muskets.Kendall's Grammar and Vocabulary is a remarkable relic of this period of New Zealand history, when it was still under the administration of New South Wales. This copy is an example of the rare issue intended for use by Maori students, printed on strong, coarse paper.Andersen, The Lure of New Zealand Book Collecting, p. 13-15; Bagnall, 3113; Hocken, p. 38; Kroepelien, 964.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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