Sunday, October 30

Maori Culture

It has been estimated the Maori's first came to New Zealand about 1,000 years ago. They would have visited in their giant ocean canoe's, and its not clear exactly where they came from, possibly somewhere in the Polynesian area, like Tahiti and or the Cook Islands, but thee would certainly have brought their rich culture with them. They quickly prospered and as these lands were previously uninhabited their principle source of food, the giant flightless bird called the Moa, was easy prey, and hunted to eventual extinction. The Mao stood over 9 feet and weighed 240Kg. The Moa inhabited the forest, so the Maori undertook extensive burning to drive out their quarry into the open for the hunters. Thus with a high protein diet Maori numbers expanded, mainly in the North Island, and to a less extent in the South Island.

They were fearsome warriors and wars broke out, mainly over territorial rights connected to the land. Later with the British there were wars that eventually led to the signing of the treaty of Waitangi, between the chiefs of New Zealand and the Queen of England. What it actually means remains unclear and it is the subject of on going negotiation.

Their culture is rich and they believe in a Earth Mother and Sky Father who bore a multitude of children who were confined to their parents bodies in total darkness.
Eventually the children rebelled and forced their parent's apart, creating a new "light" that subsequent generations enjoy. These first born children became the Gods of the Polynesians and one called "Tane" is the god of the Forest. The strength of Tane is embodied in the trees and they believed if too many trees were cut down that darkness would fall upon the Land.

The 2 original parents, the God of Earth and Sky show eternal love for all, evidenced by the tears of rain and dew of the sky god and the mists of the earth god. They lay to together in a timeless embrace of love.

3 comments:

minddance said...

What a beautiful mythology!

Tom K. said...

Yes the story of Ranginui and Papatuanuku was my favourite when I was in NZ... In the East Coast town of Te Araroa, many still ask Tane Mahuta (god of the forest) for permission to enter before a hunt or to go gathering.

Lindsay Lobe said...

Thanks for your comments Minddance and Tom.

I think their beliefs are not so disimiliar to aspects of christian and or Mormon religions.

As I understand it Tom, Tane joined with his Mother, the first Mother God, breathing new life in a new creation, that was to become the first female form of creation.

Best wishes