Barry's New Novel

Where the Octopus Waits

This novel explores the trails of the heart and mind, the frontiers of consciousness and the mysteries of sacred lore still carried today within
the Polynesian world.

This is the story of a tribe that tries to return to its ancient roots that says we are of the sea and the sea is of us. Epic challenges await them as
they journey into the tides of memory to find the wisdom to meet the
desperate issues that are destroying them today. Once again, the world
turns; the mind stretches, the soul breathes.

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Barry Brailsford has 3 new Blog Sites:

Barry Brailsford
Indigenous knowledge
Art with Story

Making a Journey into the Realms of Ancient Sacred Knowledge

The Power of Place

Barry Brailsford says his love of the land and the mystery of the past is his birthright. Born in Greymouth, near Te Ake Ake o Poutini, the ancient anchorage of the great navigator Poutini, and nurtured by the wild coastlines and forested mountains of Westland, New Zealand, he knew a childhood where the spirit was free to soar.

He graduated MA (Hons) from Canterbury University, was a member of the NZ Archaeology Association Council and a Principal Lecturer at the Christchurch College of Education.

In 1990 he was awarded an MBE for his contribution to education and Maori scholarship. When asked about his ancestry, he smiles and says,

'In the Derbyshire part of the Doomsday book of 1086, you will find 'Elfin of Brailsford'.

Maori and the Author

In 1988, Te Pani Manawatu, of the Rangitane people, a tribe within the Nation of Waitaha, asked Barry to tell the story of that Nation and bring their ancient lore to the world. Te Pani Manawatu was the Ariki [Chief] of the Tuahuriri Runanga [Council] of Ngai Tahu, the prominent South Island tribe.

This was an unprecedented event in the history of Maori, an amazing moment in the relationship of the indigenous people and the nation. The sacred knowledge shared had never left the Inner School of Learning before and now someone of European descent became the custodian of their greatest treasure.

To this day some Maori still wonder why the elders stepped beyond their own to find the voice to carry their message to the world. When setting the task, Te Pani Manawatu said…

‘You have been chosen to write the record of our ancestors and tell the story of Waitaha because of your skill and the awhi [support] you gave the people of Ngai Tahu during the Waitangi Tribunal hearings. This is not the easiest of tasks because of the things that have been hidden away from the majority of the people.

People will ridicule all the things you say and do in the name of Waitaha….it is a dangerous journey, it is a hard journey, you must walk it as a student…. Write what you learn and hear in peace and love…Carry your cross well for it is a heavy one that you bear.’

This decision to reveal the knowledge was made possible by a unique alignment of the stars in 1990, an event foretold four centuries ago. Now the wisdom keepers were free to share their sacred lore and tell the world it was time for the peoples of peace to stand tall again.

The Ancient Peace Trail

Barry was called to lead a party of 12 over the mountain passes to reopen Te Huarahi o Rongo-marae-roa, the Trail of the Peace Maker. It had been closed for 130 years because gold miners had spilt blood on it in anger. Only when that 9-day journey was completed, and the tapu lifted, was the way open for the writing of Song of Waitaha that shared their history and ancient lore.

Then in 1990 representatives from 140 tribes gathered in Whangarei to decide how much of the old knowledge to release. After five days they stood one by one to say...

‘We support you to the death',


‘we give you everything we have, our lives, our dreams, our prayers and the most sacred of treasures, the wisdom gifted by the ancestors.’

Thus followed the six years of journeys and writing that brought the old wisdom to the modern world in Song of Waitaha. It’s a fascinating story that’s shared in Song of the Stone.

Talks and Tours

Since writing fulltime from 1990, Barry has made eight speaking tours through New Zealand. In 2000 he gave 50 talks in the USA, Canada, the UK, Finland and Hawaii and in 2006 he gave 25 talks and held 5 seminars in California, the UK and Germany.

Detailed information on Barry's next talks and tours



Wisdom Card Reading


Sample of 3 cards (Kahu, Kea & Kauri) with readings by Cushla




Wisdom Seeker Book 1

Only a Hut in the Mountains

This novel explores the trails of the heart and mind, the frontiers of consciousness and the mysteries of space and time…

Here ancient lore and Quantum Mechanics meet. The world turns; the mind stretches, the soul breathes.

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