- Academic Interpretations
Margaret Orbell. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Māori Myth and Legend. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 1995.
Some of the early collectors drew parallels with Western classical mythology, but this type of comparison quickly died out. In the late 1980s and into the 1990s, Margaret Orbell, along with other scholars, revived this viewpoint but with a more rigorous academic approach and referring to original manuscript sources.
In The Illustrated Encyclopedia she draws stories together and presents them in an easy-reference style.
Margaret Orbell. Hawaiki: A New Approach to Maori Tradition. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 1991 edition.
In Hawaiki: A New Approach to Māori Tradition, Orbell looks at the migration stories and gives them a religious interpretation.
Margaret Orbell. Traditional Māori Stories. Auckland: Reed Books, Octopus Publishing Group (NZ) Ltd., 1992.
In Traditional Māori Stories she uses original text alongside English interpretations.
Anaru Reedy. Ngā Kōrero a Mohi Ruatapu tohunga rongonui o Ngāti Porou: The Writings of Mohi Ruatapu. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 1993.
Anaru Reedy also used original manuscripts, those of Mohi Ruatapu and Pita Kāpiti, and presented transcriptions of the original text alongside English interpretations. Although some early collectors had shown Māori text alongside English translations, this new approach involved an element of interpretation not seen in the earlier works. Te Waiatatanga Mai o te Atua, in case 11, is another example of this approach.
Anaru Reedy. Ngā Kōrero a Pita Kāpiti: The Teachings of Pita Kāpiti. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 1997.
Agathe Thornton. Maori Oral Literature: As Seen by a Classicist. Dunedin: University of Otago Press, 1987.
Another scholar looking at the mythology in a new way was classicist Agathe Thornton. Agathe compared themes from Māori mythology with themes from classical mythology, working largely from original manuscripts. Here we show a discussion comparing Hine-nui-te-pō to the Chimaera in Homer, a composite being.