10 Mar 2009

Maori being helped to retrace their roots

7:51 am on 10 March 2009

The National Library is helping Maori retrace their roots.

Waatea News reports the library is focusing on Whakapapa as part of Family History Month, alongside the New Zealand Society of Genealogists which is helping to unravel family stories.

Celia Joe, the hononga Maori at the National Library, says exploring heritage was a vital link in defining a person's identity.

She says Maori whanau often found it difficult to link back to their ancestors due to the introduction of surnames in the early 1800's, when many people took on a new, different name.