John White (ethnographer)

John White (3 January 1826 – 13 January 1891) was an English public servant and ethnographer in New Zealand, known for his work on the history and traditions of the Māori people.

John White
Born
Died
Known forThe Ancient History of the Maori (1889)

LifeEdit

Son of Francis White, he was born in England, and went out to New Zealand with his father in 1832, settling first at Kororāreka. It was sacked by the Māori forces at the beginning of the Flagstaff War in 1845, and the family moved to Auckland.[1]

White was employed by the government in positions where he came much into contact with the Māori people. Subsequently, he was gold commissioner at Coromandel, and was appointed official interpreter and agent for the purchase of lands; he succeeded in obtaining for the colonists the title to most of the land round Auckland.[1]

Later White became magistrate of Central Whanganui. He died suddenly at Auckland on 13 January 1891.[1]

WorksEdit

 
Sketch of a hei-tiki, from John White, The Ancient History of the Maori

White was employed by the government of New Zealand to compile a complete history of the Māori traditions; he had completed six volumes at the time of his death.[2] They appeared in 1889 with the title The Ancient History of the Maori (Wellington). He was also author of a novelette, entitled Te Rou, Or, The Māori at Home (1874).[1][3]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d   Lee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "White, John (1826-1891)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. ^ Tucker, Jane. "White, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29256. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ John White (1874). Te Rou, Or, The Māori at Home: A Tale, Exhibiting the Social Life, Manners, Habits and Customs of the Māori Race in New Zealand Prior to the Introduction of Civilisation Amongst Them. Sampson Low, Marston, Low, and Searle.

Attribution

  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainLee, Sidney, ed. (1900). "White, John (1826-1891)" . Dictionary of National Biography. 61. London: Smith, Elder & Co.