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Māori Fortification by Ian Knight

October 14th, 2015 By Barbara Smail
Shows the top an old Maori fort;Otatara Pa.

While best suited for older students this book contains a number of very good illustrations and aerial photographs of Māori pa sites that would be also useful for a younger audience. The author's interest in the study of warfare is extensive. A comprehensive list of similar international titles, are shown on the book's cover. Knight’s approach to the topic is systematic and easy to engage with as he has developed a good balance between both the written and the visual information.

The book begins with a short note about the role of warfare in Māori society. It tracks chronologically from the pre-colonial pa to the musket wars the New Zealand wars and concludes with a brief description of pa sites today. While Knight hasn't included a formal bibliography he has listed a comprehensive reading list of respected authors useful for further study. Also included is a glossary covering the Te Reo words used in the book.

I would recommend this as a useful companion book for students completing research on warfare in New Zealand especially those fascinated by the technology of war. For younger students it would provide a marvellous guide for those keen to complete models of the ingenious fortification techniques developed by Māori.

Image: 08 Otatara Pa by mrcjhicks on Flickr

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