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The Māori whare after contact

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Master's thesis, University of Otago, ,

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In this thesis, Martin investigates the evolution of the traditional Māori whare from first European contact until 1940.

The thesis combines archaeological evidence, 18th-century ethnographic data, and 19th-century written accounts to trace the physical changes in the whare. The research includes an empirical survey of whare depicted in various forms of art and photography. It reveals that by the early 20th century, European-style houses largely replaced traditional whare, but Māori cultural concepts continued to influence housing. The study suggests that while the whare evolved, it remained a conservative structure, reflecting broader vernacular architectural trends. This transition in housing indicates a complex process of cultural maintenance and adaptation, warranting further research into Māori spatial concepts within homes.

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