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  • Singing the trail: the story of mapping Aotearoa New Zealand

Singing the trail: the story of mapping Aotearoa New Zealand

Date: Tuesday 9 February 2021, 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Cost: Free. Koha from non-members appreciated.
Contact details: ATLOutreach@dia.govt.nz

John McCrystal tells the story of Aotearoa New Zealand through its maps — and the stories of the explorers who made those maps.

From oral maps to paper maps

John begins his tale with a focus on oral maps made by early Polynesian and Māori settlers: waypoints, lists of places in songs, chants, karakia and stories that showed direction.

Centuries later came the great navigators, Abel Tasman and then James Cook. And finally it was the turn of the surveyors, explorers, rockhounds, gold diggers and politicians to negotiate the internal detail.

About the speaker

John McCrystal of Wellington has been working as a freelance writer since 1996, contributing to most of New Zealand’s leading newspapers and magazines. ‘Singing the Trail’ (Allen & Unwin, 2019) is the story of New Zealand through its maps — and the story of the explorers who made those maps.

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