Author(s): Angela Wanhalla
Angela Wanhalla started her story with the mixed-descent community at Maitapapa, Taieri, where her great-grandparents, John Brown and Mabel Smith, were born. As the book took shape, a community emerged from the records, re-casting history and identity in the present. Drawing on the experiences of mixeddescent families, In/visible Sight examines the early history of cross-cultural encounter and colonisation in southern New Zealand. There NgÃ¤i Tahu engaged with the European newcomers on a sustained scale from the 1820s, encountering systematic settlement from the 1840s and fighting land alienation from the 1850s. The evolving social world was one framed by marriage, kinship networks and cultural practices â€“ a world in which inter-racial intimacy played a formative role. In exploring this history through a particular group of family networks, In/visible Sight offers new insights into New Zealandâ€™s colonial past. Marriage as a fundamental social institution in the nineteenth century takes on a different shape when seen through the lens of cross-cultural encounters. The book also outlines some of the contours and ambiguities involved in living as mixed descent in colonial New Zealand.