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More Than 20,000 Màori Names Go Online

14 October 2004

More Than 20,000 Màori Names Go Online

More than 20,000 Màori names are now available in a major new online resource created by Waikato University's Library.

"Journalists, researchers, academics and people with a general interest in Màori culture and te reo can now go online to access a huge range of names at the push of a button," says the university's New Zealand Collection librarian Kathryn Parsons.

The online resource reproduces the information in Henry James Fletcher's Index of Màori Names at:

Fletcher of Taupo was a missionary and Presbyterian minister who lived from 1868-1933. Index of Màori Names was considered his greatest work. His original index is held in the Alexander Turnbull Library, with whose permission the original index was digitised for putting online.

The index provides access to information about or references to Màori individuals, boundaries, canoes, trees, landmarks and geographical locations. Fletcher indexed these Màori names from nine books, including the Ancient History of the Màori, Old Whanganui and the first volume of the Lore of the Whare Wànanga, as well as the first 19 volumes of the Journal of the Polynesian Society, the first 42 volumes of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, seven essays from the Transactions and nine Dominion Museum Bulletins.

There are 21,889 entries in the index. A full list of the publications indexed is at: l

Putting the index online was a complex process. A microfilm of the original was scanned and converted into a computer file. Waikato University staff and students then did a massive editing job.

Interesting points that emerged from the editing process:

* Letter with the most number of entries: T

* Number of entries about gods: 149

* Longest name: Wai Whakatahe o Ngati Kahu Ngunu

* Shortest names: A, I, O, U.

* Most variants on name/ Aliases: Tane (48)

"This is a major achievement," says Kathryn Parsons, "and it makes this important resource available to the world. Many, many people have worked on the project and all are to be congratulated for their dedication and hard work.

"We realise there are likely to still be errors in the document and we would appreciate it if people let us know of anything that needs fixing."


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