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New Book On Māori Figures Of Speech Extends Oratia Books’ Successful Programme Of Te Reo Reference Titles

Years of research into kupu whakarite (metaphors and similes) have borne fruit for young Massey University scholar, Hona Black.

In He Iti te Kupu: Māori Metaphors and Similes, he brings together nearly 500 figures of speech – the most comprehensive compilation published to date – into a ready resource for speakers and students of te reo, and anyone who wishes to deepen their language use in Aotearoa.

Black wrote this, his first book, in te reo. That text is printed on the left-hand pages of the book, with his translation into English on the facing right-hand pages. That lets all readers access the use, meaning and context of the main metaphors and similes in Māori, which are here grouped in themes such as birds, insects, canoe parts, body parts and endearments.

He Iti te Kupu extends Oratia’s popular programme of language reference books, including Māori Place Names and Te Reo Māori: The Basics Explained.

As the new book’s title suggests, ‘Iti te kupu, nui te kōrero’ — ‘Words are small, yet their meanings are substantial’.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hona Black (Tūhoe, Te Whānau a Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) lectures on the post-graduate diploma in teaching for Māori medium schools at Te Pūtahi a Toi: School of Māori Knowledge at Massey University in Palmerston North. He has worked as the Senior Māori Adviser on Massey’s Wellington campus, and been Head of Te Reo Māori at Hato Pāora College in Feilding. Hona comes from an outstanding academic and sporting family: his father is Professor of Māori Studies, Tai Black, while his younger brother Otere Black plays first five-eighth for the Auckland Blues and Bay of Plenty rugby teams.

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