Listen to a Missionary from the 1800s Sing a Hymn in Maori

A unique audio recording has recently come to light in New Zealand, a recording which chronicles the experiences of the first Mormon missionary to connect with the Parihaka people. (Parihaka was the largest Maori settlement in New Zealand.)

His voice, speaking out from the distant past, tells of his experience meeting with Maori leaders Te Whiti-o-Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi. In the recording, he also sings a hymn, "Come to the Saviour) in Maori.

The missionary was John E. Taylor, who served in New Zealand from 1896 to 1901. Taylor was born in Los Angeles, but his ability to speak Te Reo Maori made him able to connect to the natives in a way unique to most Americans.

You can listen to bits of this recording from this TVNZ Te Karere news report. Listen to Elder Taylor speak in Maori at :39 and hear him sing a hymn at 1:28.

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