August 20, 2018
Miriama Evans embraced life of challenge
Friends and former colleagues have celebrated the life of Miriama Evans who earned the title 'Wahine Toa' in a lifetime of battling for the interests of Māori and especially Māori women.
Ms Evans, of Ngai Tahu and Ngāti Mutunga, died on August 15 at her Petone home after a long illness.
Her funeral was on Saturday at Waiwhetu marae in Lower Hutt.
Robyn Bargh from Huia, who published her book on Māori weaving and also worked for her at the Ministry for Women’s Affairs, says while she was well known in Wellington as a public servant, Miriama Evans also took on many challenges and responsibilities for her tribes and the wider Māori community.
This included her role in publishing the 'Bone People', which won the Booker Prize in 1985.
"And it was awarded to a writer who at that time was unknown, Keri Hulme, published by a publisher that was very unknown which was the Spiral Collective which was Miriama, Irihāpeti Ramsden, and Marian Evans, and that book had been turned down by every publisher in Australasia and yet this young group of women picked it up and not only published it but won the Booker Prize which is the highest prize for fiction you can receive for books published in English" Ms Bargh says.
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