The Maori of New Zealand

Essay by Dan HessB, April 1997

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The Maori people, the natives of New Zealand, have played a strong

part in the development and success of the small island nation. Their ferocity

and determination won the respect of the colonizing English, and to this day

they are esteemed members of the society. They hold positions in their

government and are in control of their own destinies. Their greetings and

posture when having their picture taken for the outside world is a part of

culture that I would like to discuss.

Years ago, back in the days of rampant imperialism, the English navy

found the part of the world that today is referred to as 'down under'. They

originally came first to Australia, but it was only a matter of time before New

Zealand, Australia's tiny neighbor, was discovered also. The mighty English,

who at the time was one of the world powers, subjugated the natives of

Australia, the Aborigine people.

The Aborigine, having very little technology,

were easily subdued and the land became an English colony, used at first for

its natural resources but also as a exile or prison colony. The lack of

resistance from the natives made it relatively easy for the English to

accomplish their task. This gave the Aborigine absolutely no respect from the

English, and almost to this day are they treated as inferiors, by the English.

This was not the case with the neighboring Maori's.

As stated before, the English eventually found their way to the south,

where the beautiful island lay untouched by foreign hands. They also found

that the island had a native populace just as Australia had had. But one thing

was very different from these natives. The English, thinking that this island

was also theirs for the taking, met heavy resistance from the Maori. Many an...