Moriori A People Rediscovered by Michael King


Moriori A People Rediscovered by Michael King

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Moriori A People Rediscovered by Michael King

“Michael King tells of a Moriori ancestor, Nunuku Whenua, who, sickened by bloodshed among his people, issued an injunction which by and large was obeyed: only fight till you draw blood, then stop.

To ritualise aggression and to keep disputes within acceptable bounds was sensible. Nunuku’s injunction was not broken when Maoris from New Zealand reached the Chathams in 1835. The Morioris offered to share the good things of Rekohu with the new arrivals but the result was not partnership but great slaughter and much bloodshed.

In spite of all that has happened to them, the mana of the Morioris remains intact. In 1835, they lived and they died in a way that protected their honour and expressed their deepest cultural and spiritual beliefs

Captain William Broughton and his crew, European sealers and whalers, the Maori invasion, were all expressions of an outside world whose aspirations were disastrous and calamitous for Moriori society. Michael King tells of that encounter with all the pain and resultant bitterness that it produced. The telling of history is never neutral and the challenge in this book is for us to make our own response to what happened.

Morioris still feel strongly about the events of 1835 and the subsequent decisions of the Land Court. Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga may feel defensive about a story being told in which they were the aggressors. And on a wider front, there may be another group of people only too willing to allow the story to feed their own prejudices about Maoris or anyone whose skin is brown.

It brings to light a history which has been partly hidden and misunderstood by many New Zealanders. It will help restore Moriori self esteem and confidence. It could be the basis for better communication between Moriori and Maori. ”

Paperback, first edition 1989 , 226pages, very good condition, small wear/tear in jacket