Of New Zealand
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...