The Maori Of New Zealand

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The Maori Of New Zealand Essay, Research Paper

The Maori of New Zealand

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

English life was lost at the hands of these fiercesome warriors, and even

though they were outclassed technologically, still did the Maori fight on.

Their persistance and desire to defend their land from the invading outsiders

won them the respect and admiration of the English. Presently, they hold

positions of power in the New Zealand parliament and are regarded as equals

in society.

When a Maori takes a picture for the outside world, e.g. for a post card

or tourist, their ferocity and determination are shown in their stance and

posture. They strike a fighting pose, with one arm raised above their heads in

an attack position and the other in front of them, ready to defend their

midsection. The best aspect is their facial expressions. Their tongues are out

and dipped down, while their eyes are open fully, as you might see a crazed

or intense individual do. The stance is tell outsiders that yes, we are mean and

we’ll kick your — if you come and try to take what’s ours.

Because the Maori chose to fight the English, it earned them respect

and admiration. They are now in control of their own destiny and have been

since the English came. They send a message out with each and every

postcard, and although the stance has now become more of a show than

reality. its message can still remind us of determination of one tribe of people.

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