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Moriori : a people rediscovered

Author: Michael King
Publisher: Auckland, N.Z. : Viking, 1989.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"The Moriori of the Chatham Islands have long been regarded by Europeans as one of the mystery peoples of the South Seas. Their culture seemed more primitive than any other in the Pacific; their origins were said variously to be negroid, Jewish, Melanesian, Polynesian and sub-Antarctic. The Maori of New Zealand despised them and called them "black fellas". Victorian Europeans relegated them to the bottom of the  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Michael King
ISBN: 0670826553 9780670826551
OCLC Number: 22133256
Language Note: Contains text in Maori.
Description: 226 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 27 cm
Contents: Maui Solomon --
24 March 1933 --
Tchakat Moriori --
The sun people --
The gods are dead --
The Maungahuka experiment --
European settlement --
Moriori voices --
Judgment --
Fog before the sun --
And then there was one? --
Epilogue: Renaissance --
Appendices (A Moriori vocabulary ; A list of Moriori living in 1861 ; Moriori migration traditions).
Responsibility: Michael King.

Abstract:

"The Moriori of the Chatham Islands have long been regarded by Europeans as one of the mystery peoples of the South Seas. Their culture seemed more primitive than any other in the Pacific; their origins were said variously to be negroid, Jewish, Melanesian, Polynesian and sub-Antarctic. The Maori of New Zealand despised them and called them "black fellas". Victorian Europeans relegated them to the bottom of the evolutionary hierarchy of intelligent beings. The Moriori "race", the world was informed became extinct when its last member died in 1933. And he died, allegedly, without the solution to the mystery of his people's origin and identity. Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders still believe that the Moriori were a backward race of unknown origin who settle the country first and were subsequently banished to the Chathams, vanquished and demoralised by more vigorous and intelligent Maori colonists. In this book historian and writer Michael King clears away all the nonsense, rumour and vilification that have surrounded the Moriori. He identifies clearly who they were and where they came from. He shows that far from being "primitive", Moriori culture was a perfect adaptation to a harsh environment. And he reveals that Moriori people were not a race, and that they are far from extinct. This book is a fascinating exercise in historical, archaeological and literary detective work. It restores the Moriori to their rightful place in New Zealand, Pacific and world history"--Jacket.

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Primary Entity

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