Hemi Bennett

No details.

    Children's literature

  • The Story of Kaihamu. Illus. Katarina Mataira. Wellington, N.Z.: R. E. Owen, Govt. Printer, 1963.
  • In this narrative account of Kaihamu, son of a rangātira, Bennett records many aspects of traditional Māori life including catching eels, snaring birds, preparing hangi, planting kumara, gathering kai moana and learning to use weapons of warfare. Notes in the front cover state that "[t]his publication was prepared and originally published by the Department of Education as a Bulletin for Schools. G. P. Serial No 21."
  • Kaihamu and Tuparahaki. Illus. Katarina Mataira. Wellington, N.Z.: Schools Publication Branch, Dept. of Education, 1964.
  • In this sequel to The Story of Kaihamu, Bennett recounts further activities of Kaihamu, Tuparahaki and their rangatahi.
  • Non-fiction

  • "Weapons and Warfare." Te Ao Hou 17 (1956): 50-51.
  • A detailed study of Māori methods of warfare in pre-European society in which Bennett describes how young warriors were trained to focus their attention on the shoulder or big toe of the advancing enemy in order to anticipate his next move. He writes about the various weapons taken into battle: these usually included a "short striking weapon and a long two-handed weapon". He also gives descriptions of the taiaha, pouwhenua, tewhatewha, kopere, hoeroa and the greenstone mere.
  • "The Kereru: Yesterday and Today." Te Ao Hou 21 (1957): 45+.
  • In this account of the kereru or native pigeon, Bennett discusses why the bird is so treasured by the Māori, and he looks at the complex and tapu methods traditionally employed in snaring the birds. The bird-snaring rituals involved observing the tapu nature of the forest during the snaring season, placing a talisman called a mauri in the forest which "retained the mana of the forest and ensured that it was frequently visited by numerous flocks of birds." Bennett also describes the tapu restrictions governing the construction of the snares, outlines what different snares were used, and where the best places in the forest were to leave the snares. He concludes by stressing the dramatic fall in the kereru population due to the felling of forests and the introduction of guns, and he strongly reminds Te Ao Hou readers that the kereru is now a protected species.
  • "Games of the Old Time Māori: Part I." Te Ao Hou 22 (1958): 45-47.
  • Bennett writes of the games that were played at special times such as during winter or after harvesting the kumara crop. These games, such as kite flying, wrestling, canoe racing, dart throwing and haka, were not purely recreational but were seen as tools to train the young men in fighting skills. Bennett gives a detailed description of the various types and uses of the Māori kite: some were made for pleasure, and others were used as omens in battle foretelling the outcome of the battle.
  • "Games of the Old Time Māori: Part 2." Te Ao Hou 24 (1958): 52-53.
  • In this continuation of Bennett’s study of traditional Māori games, he describes the various kinds of potaka or spinning top constructed by the Māori. Bennett notes that although he has yet to find any reference to tops in museums or publications, "he has seen the top in action, spoken to numerous others who have witnessed it in operation, and, furthermore, has a beautiful specimen of this type in his possession." Bennett also writes of the karetao which was a carved wooden figure sometimes used in a haka or action song, and he briefly mentions the game upoko titi. He notes that in former times the whare tapere was a place where young people gathered to play games.
  • Reviews

  • Rev. of Māori Action Songs, by Putiki Youth Club; Māori Legends, narrated by Kenneth Melvin; Let’s Learn Māori, by W. T. Ngata. Te Ao Hou 23 (1958): 55.
  • "Kiwi Records." Legends of Māoriland - 3, told by Kenneth Melvin. The Adventures of Hutu and Kawa, story by Avis Acres. Told by Colleen Rea. Te Ao Hou 28 (1959): 57.


  • Taylor, C. R. H. A Bibliography of Publications on the New Zealand Māori and the Moriori of the Chatham Islands. Oxford: Clarendon, 1972. 2, 94.
  • Reviews

    Games The Māoris Played
  • Rev. of Games The Māoris Played, by A. W. Reed. Te Ao Hou 24 (1958): 54.