Judith Ward

Doctor of Philosophy, (History)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
The Invention of Papahurihia

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Historians have described Papahurihia as the first Maori prophet and founder of a syncretistic religion that combined aspects of Judaic and Christian theology with Maori beliefs. They also say he observed a Saturday Sabbath and that his followers identified as Jews. Ms Ward''sresearch reinterpreted the evidence on Papahurihia in the context of the Protestant evangelical paradigm and considered the timing of the Europeans'' comments about him within the Ngapuhi seasonal cycle. She established that the missionaries had looked at Papahurihia through a religious lens and that Europeans made assumptions about his behaviour on the basis of the Christian calendar. Her research concluded that Papahurihia was a tohunga and that non-Christian Maori had looked to him to protect them from the God of the Europeans, who had threatened them with the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

Professor Michael Belgrave
Professor Peter Lineham

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