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The Maori People
Transcript of The Maori People
Let's begin with a little story.
Once upon a time, back say in 1250-1300CE, the indigenous Polynesian people decided "let's see what's beyond the oceans we can see and get in canoes and go places!"
They managed to find....
In the fertile land of New Zealand, the Maori people evolved on the basis of horticulture.
early Maori formed tribal groups based on Eastern Polynesian social customs and organization between the years of 1250-1500
Eventually, the Maori people developed into warring tribes (hapu)
in the classic period (1500-1642), fortified hillforts known as "pa" became developed
there was also frequent CANNIBALISM
some of the largest war canoes ever were built at this time
around 1500 CE, a group of Maori migrated east to the Chatham Islands where they developed the distinct Moriori culture
finely produced pounamu weapons and ornaments were also made
The Geography of New Zealand
In order for horticulture to flourish, a suitable climate is necessary.
The Maori People
And so off they went out
into the ocean in waves and
fleets of canoes!
The wonderful land of New Zealand!!!!
eventually, competition occurred as scarcity in natural resources resulted due to population growth
oral history describes arrival of ancestors from Hawaiki (mythical homeland in Polynesia)
During this early Archaic Period, birds became extinct and people experienced climate cooling.
hunted wild birds for food along with abundant marine mammals
Kia ora tatou!
ranges from a cold and wet to a subtropical climate
extensive marine resources
rough coastlines and plains
mountainous regions with active volcanoes
frequent earthquakes, although not severe
peak summer temperatures 24-28 C
January/February are the coldest months
Early maori culture
resembled that of Eastern
Polynesia until the introduction
of Europeans in 1642-1840
The Maori people retained most of the culture
despite being colonized.
the Maori believe in spiritual forces
mana (prestige, psychic force, power)
mauri (life principle)
-babies named after the naval cord was severed
-ritual performed where baby is born
-babies were doused in a stream and dedicated to a particular God
- boys were most likely dedicated to Tūmatauenga, the god of war, and girls to the goddess Hineteiwaiwa.
-this ceremony ensures a child's mana is permanent
The Maori legal system included the tribe Chiefs, Commoners, and Slaves.
There were also the special people with skills highly regarded that didn't belong to any of the three classes.
It is the chiefs who perform the ceremonies and guard the heirlooms of the tribe. They need to have a good personality, foresight, initiative, and capaibility before becoming a full chief. Laws are made by the chief.
Violent physical punishments were carried out by the tribe when someone had conducted a wrong.
Recreational and Leisure Activities:
Singing Waiata-à –ringa or Action Songs
-lyrics supported by hand movements
-flutter hands quickly (movement called wiri) to symbolize shimmering water, heat waves, or breeze
-accompanied by guitar
-form of dance usually done by women
-performance conveys grace and beauty
-twirls one or more poi (ball on chord) in perfect unison
-direction changes by striking ball on hand or other part of body
Creative Arts: weaving and carving
-produce korowai (cloaks) and kete (baskets)
-weaving traditionally done by women
-skilled weaver prized in tribes and men wanted to marry women who could weave the best
-Enjoyed decorating and carving
-Carved into bones, stones, and their own bodies to make tattoos
Education and Learning in Maori Society
-learning process began in wombs (mother sang lullabies or oriori to unborn child)
-on-the-job training or apprenticeship in weaving, gathering, harvesting, and warfare
Video of girls being taught how to sew and cook:
-group learning and cooperative teaching in rituals
-orally, waiata (songs), whakataukī (proverbs), kōrero tawhito (history), pūrākau (stories) and whakapapa (genealogy) taught history and values
Whare wānanga (house of learning)
-educational institution for members with chiefly lineage
-had to retain information well
-participants carefully selected and learning conducted away from the village
-last traditional whare wānanga were held in the second half of the 19th century.
-the Ministry of Education developed Ka hikitia: managing for success: the Māori education strategy, 2008–2012
-bilingual school system (Maori and English)
Natalie Coates won two prestigious scholarships to attend Harvard to complete a Masters of Laws
-contribute to the Maori World, New Zealand, and the world
-understand and take pride in their culture
-Maori language is similar to other Polynesian languages and the alphabet is like the Hawaiian alphabet
-Bilingual (Maori and English)
-Maori has a logical structure and consistent rules of pronunciation
-Maori is considered a national treasure
-One of New Zealand’s Official Languages is Maori, spoken by 25% of New Zealanders (Compare: 30.1% of people in Canada in 2011 could conduct a conversation in French)
-under revival: movement to enforce and promote the speaking of Maori
This greeting is called the hongi. Maoris say hello by pressing their noses together.
The Women and Men in Maori Society
-Men were the warriors
-Women could not fight in war, perform the war dance, or have facial tattoos
-Only women could do opening calls for meetings: they welcomed guests and told stories
-both men and women did the cooking
-Maori legends about powerful women
-men and women respected each other and worked together
-Maori women, before Christianity, had more freedom than English women
-Maori women not considered as possessions: retained own names upon marriage, dressed in a similar way to the men, child bearing seen as uplifting, whanau (woman’s primary source of support) did not have to be transferred from her father to husband
-English law that was introduced changed things: power female characters shifted to the male ones in oral stories, men perceived as wives and mothers and also as their property, thought of as bedmates for white men
Influential Maori Individuals
- T.W. Ratana: In the 1930s, created a branch of Christianity for the Maori and created a Maori section of the Labour Party of New Zealand, so that the Maori people could be represented in government
- Kiri Te Kanawa: Famous Opera Singer and Children’s books author, also actress and has appeared on Downton Abbey as Nellie Melba
-Maori All-Blacks: A rugby team whose members all have Maori descent. Perform a war dance (or haka) before every game to intimidate the other team.
Challenges for the Maori Today
-face challenges similar to the challenges that the Aboriginal peoples in Canada face
- own poorer quality homes
-receive worse education
-commit more crimes and have more of their workers unemployed
-die younger, they have high alcohol and drug related problems