Research Paper Maori People Of New Zealand Introduction The indigenous Maori of New Zealand thrived in isolation and loneliness for many centuries before the start of European influence and Westernization. The Maori, or Tangata Whenua meaning “People of the land” , arrived in New Zealand some time between 900 AD and 1400 AD. To the Maoris, New Zealand was referred to as Aotearoa, or the “Land of the Long White Cloud”. Maori society consisted of several tribes that are each led by a chief ruler who is believed to be a descendant from godly ancestors.
These chiefs and leaders governed with great authority, and thus were greatly feared by the aristocratic classes. The tribe has survived over time simply by living together under the close protection of trained warriors, in strong and fortified settlements, and also through hunting activities. Maori people also believe in animism, which is a spiritual belief that natural objects, natural phenomena and nature overall possess souls.
The Maori art is quite diverse and is in general reflected through creative items such as personal adornments displaying and representing social status, or even through victorious war ornaments used for ceremonies and festivities. Society, Belief, Art, Language, Religion, Clothing, Food, Economic system and Education The Maori culture remained in its classic form until the first encounter with Europeans in 1642 in a bloody and fierce engagement. Over a year later, in 1769, the Briton James Cook managed to establish friendly relations with the Maori people, and by the 1800s visits by European ships were really frequent.
This particular period of time is when the European influence truly began to change and modify the traditional culture. This has eventually let to long years of unrest conflict. Basically, the westernization of the Maori culture was changed after this period. In 1840, both British and Maori representatives agreed to sign the “Treaty of Waitangi”. This treaty officially established British rule, recognized Maori land rights and also granted British Citizenship to the Maori people. The Maori were living between both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, but despite regional differences, the culture remained fundamentally the same.
Men and women quite different for the Maoris: Men were actually believed to be some descendents of the gods with the power and strength to perform all sorts of hard activities. Women on the other hand were believed to be of the earth, and were in fact excluded from many sacred activities. They were actually assigned to domestic roles. In addition, the greatest glory for the Maori was to die in battle. That is the reason warrior training occupied an important amount of time. The constant threat from other tribes necessitated skilled warriors always ready for action.
Men also occupied themselves with fishing, building, or repairing fortifications. Women were involved in domestic activities such as gathering wood, fetching water and cultivations. Overall, both genders Society, Belief, Art, Language, Religion, Clothing, Food, Economic system and Education were largely involved in the production of art. The physical strength of men represented the fact that they worked using hard materials, whereas women worked only on soft materials. Hard materials include wood, bone, ivory, or stone. Soft materials include feathers or hair.
The Maori belief defined a framework for maintaining social and cultural order in the society. The mythology actually tells of two gods, the Sky Father, Rangi, and the Earth Mother, Papa, who have basically brought the world into being. the earth red with Rangi’s blood. From this, all nature originated. Maoris, just like the vast majority of New Zealanders today, are Christian and also celebrate all major Christian holidays. Until the 1920s, Maori tribes lived almost entirely in rural areas of New Zealand. Today however, 80 % of them do live in the urban areas.
Moreover, just as with New Zealanders, travel today is by modern road, rail, water, and air transport. Maoris also wear modern Western-style clothing. During special occasions, they still take out and wear traditional clothing. Tattooing was also highly developed and symbolic. Regarding food, Maoris typically eat the same kinds of foods as New Zealanders. Society, Belief, Art, Language, Religion, Clothing, Food, Economic system and Education Lastly, public education has today become the norm for the vast majority of urban Maori. Pre-schools are majorly based on Maori cultural education.
In fact, the education is well supported by the state. . Bibliography Bishop, Russell. Maori Art and Culture. London: British Museum Press, 1996. Gell, A. Wrapping in Images: Tattooing in Polynesia. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993. Gream, Matthew. New Zealand’97: A Travel Adventure, 1997. Hazlehurst, Kayleen M. Political Expression and Ethnicity: Statecraft and Mobilization in the Maori World. Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1993. “Once Were Warriors”, Communicado Productions, 1994. Orbell, Margaret . The illustrated encyclopedia of Maori myth and legend, 1995. Tregear, Edward. The Aryan Maori. Papakura, New Zealand: R. McMillan, 1984.