Date: March 9th, 2012
By: Ananda Cerdan,Ibón Joung, Sara Setién, Eduardo Márquez and Virginia Mazón


   Maori are the only tribe indigenous that exists in New Zealand nowadays which arrived there 800 years ago from Cook Islands. With the course of time they

have lost lot of their traditions due to their integration in the New Zealand society but they are still maintaining their principal ones.

   This tribe’s origin is the Easter Polynesia, from the Cook, Tahiti and Tasman Islands. It is thought that the name of the tribe comes between the years 800 and 1.300; the descendants of early settlers were named as the Maoris, to differ from what they call “Pakeka” or Europeans.

    According to the Maori legend, the founder of the tribe was Kupe who discovered the “Aotearoa”(Land of the big white cloud), settled in the north side of New Zeeland from the island Hawaiki (the legendary territory of the tropical area of the Polynesia), after discovering that the territory was inhabited. The Maoris already populated new Zeeland before the Europeans arrived, it is estimated that this Maoris occupation ended by the 18th century. But on 1772 took place the first conflict between the Maoris and the Europeans, by the end of the century the war ended causing more than 300 Maoris deaths.

   For the last 20 years after the conflict, no more European activity was noticed, but on the end of the 18th century and the early 19th century the first European missionaries and British whale-men, installing a new colony and economical markets. Finally on the 19th century, New Zealand became an English colony.

   From those 800 years ago to the present Maori´s tribe has change two of their principal manners due to their integration in the New Zealand society. Formerly, they practiced cannibalism, Maori enclosed their victims in small cages and they fattened them to eat that people later. Another feature they have changed is that they lived in big clans, which gave rise to many disputes among families; It´s was a very garrison town.

   Nowadays, although they live in small clans they usually gather for parties and celebrations in a collective land called “Marae” where there are a meeting-house, a dining room and a courtyard. At present, they survived on fishing and hunting of wild animals which lived in their same environment and of course they have left the cannibalism aside.

   One of their traditions which continue having today is their religious belief. They are polytheists. According to their religion the parents in the world are Rangi (Heaven) and Papa (earth). Both were united in an embrace from which they were separated from their children, leading to the entrance of light in the world. The rain is the tears of this couple for their separation. The children of the creator gods hold various powers.  Tane is the god of flora, Rongo of agriculture and peace, Tangaroa of the sea… According to them tane was the first one who created the first woman. They got married and of the marriage was born a daughter who became the mother of the Maori people.

“Ring means Heaven”                RANGI AND PAPA (a Pollynesian creation myth)                                                                                                                                                          “Papa means Earth”

   About their typical dance called “Haka”, a war dance for men in which the warriors make strong movements and rough that are accompanied by jumps whit a really aggressive expression of their faces, multiples tattoos and weapons, has been utilized as a identity mark of New Zealand to be more striking for tourist.This dance has created lots of polemics; due to its rough movements it is considered to be aggressive therefore many other countries have imitated a similar dance.

The New Zealand rugby team called “All Black´s” also has copied this typical dance to intimidate his opponents.

Some typical Maori tattoos are very common to see in young people skins around the world as a way of modernity and identity.

Some links for everyone:

What Maori treaty is really about

New Zealand history online


Acerca de asiapacificm11
estudiantes: Eduardo Marquez Ibon Joung Virginia Mazon Sara Setien Ananda Cerdan

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