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.

Category: History