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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

He Iti Te Kupu: Māori Metaphors and Similes by Hona Black

Hona Black has gathered about 500 metaphors and similes in simple figures of speech to assist Te Reo speakers to embellish their language. The development of everyday speech can be enhanced by reading and absorbing the content of this helpful little book. Proverbs are small words with substantial meaning which can be used in everyday conversations.

The quotations draw comparisons between the natural world and events, putting them in context. The book is grouped in themes, with Te Reo written on one page and the English explanation on the facing page. This makes for very convenient and easy reading.

Themes include birds, trees and the forest, canoe parts, the sea, and endearments, but they can be usefully extended to support a conversation in everyday language. More competent speakers of Te Reo will enjoy using samples from the content while beginners will enjoy better understanding of colloquial inferences and improve their conversations.

The author, Hona Black, (Tuhoe, Te Whanau-a Apanui, Ngati Tuwharetoa) lectured on the post graduate diploma in teaching for Maori medium schools at Putahi a Toi: School of Maori Knowledge at Massey University in Palmerston North. He has worked as Senior Maori Adviser on Massey’s Wellington Campus and been head of Te Reo Maori at Hãto Paora College in Fielding. He is presently putting theory into practice at Opotiki College Reo Rua unit, Kura Ki Uta. This is his first book: hopefully first of many.

This is an especially valuable (and already much used) addition to my bookshelf.

Reviewer: Sonia Edwards

Oratia Books, RRP 39.99


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