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Croats and Maori in New Zealand - Memory, Belonging, Identity



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Tarara by Senka Bozic-Vrbancic
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Questions of identity and belonging have been in the spotlight in New Zealand in recent years, and Celebrating Forgetting investigates these through the history of Maori and Croatian communities in the far North. In the early twentieth century, both were dislocated - Croats emigrated from Dalmatia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Maori, having become a part of the British Empire, lost much of their land, which resulted in local migration. The gumfields in the far north of New Zealand was the place of encounter and intermarriage between the two groups. Drawing on a range of sources, from official historical narratives on the kauri gum industry, to Croatian and Maori oral histories, novels, letters, photos, newspaper articles, marriage certificates, and much more, Bozi?-Vrban?i? examines Maori-Croatian relationships on the gumfields and beyond. This is an important discussion of the impact of different social models - such as colonialism, assimilation, biculturalism, and multiculturalism - on Maori and Croatian memories and identities. Located at the crossroads of socio/cultural anthropology, history, cultural studies, feminist and postcolonial theory, this book is distinctive in connecting an empirical study with wider theoretical debates on identity. It is heavily illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs from the Maori-Croat communities.

Author Biography

Senka Bozic-Vrbancic is Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University of Auckland. She completed her doctoral thesis on Maori-Croatian relationships in 2004. Her scholarly interests range widely, from the indigenous to migrant identity formations, the politics of representation, visual culture, diaspora, nationalisms and multiculturalisms, and addresses questions of globalization, home, belonging, community, and transnational connections. She published her work in peer reviewed international academic journals.
Release date NZ
December 1st, 2007
Country of Publication
New Zealand
b/w photos
Otago University Press
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