South Pacific—the Maori People of New Zealand
Possible Migration From Egypt
The Maori peoples in New Zealand are its First Nations, the people who first inhabited the country. At least three meanings for the word "Maori" are recorded and the groups that believe each to be the best definition sometimes engage in heated debate.
One explanation for the name "Maori" is that it comes from the word or phrase Ma-Uri, meaning "Children of Heaven." A related meaning is given approximately as Children of the White Cloud, because New Zealand's name in the indigenous language is "Aotearoa", meaning "The Island of the Long White Cloud" (Reference: The Ohio State University Department of Linguistics; 2008).
Another group defines the word as "normal" or "usual", as opposed to European settlers who were different ("not normal" and not like the original people). This "normal" is similar to the "original people" of many Native North American cultures, "the people who have always been here" in Australia, and even Indigenous Koreans with their "first and only original people."
Researchers at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand institutions concluded that Maori women are genetically different from the Maori men, the women's DNA coming from mainland Southeast Asia perhaps 6,000 years ago.
Well known anthropologist and explorer Joseph Birdsell believed that NZ Aboriginals originally migrated from Egypt in the northern area of Africa, eastward, and after reaching the western part of Oceana, took a northerly route. Birdsell's theory posits yjsy Indigenous People settled north of Australia in what is now New Zealand. Their migratory route, as outlined by Birdsell, is shown on the map of the Southern Hemisphere and Aboriginal history provided by the University of Monash in Australia (see below).
Other researchers at Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand institutions concluded that Maori women are genetically different from the Maori men, the women's DNA coming from mainland Southeast Asia perhaps 6,000 years ago.
It looks like Melanesian men joined with them and some Southeast Asian men and traveled to New Zealand about one thousand years ago; but others suggest that they all likely mixed with Indigenous Peoples already there.
The Maori Waka
Interestingly, ongoing research examines the question of whether Indigenous Southeast Asians, Melanesians, Polynesians, and Indigenous Peoples of New Zealand, wherever they are from, as well as the Phoenicians, all boated to North America and became part of the genetic heritage of Native North Americans throughout the continent, and especially from California to the Eastern Seaboard.
Maori King Tawaiho, 1895
Polynesian Explorers and Discoveries
Before the time of Birdsell, a Polynesian from Hawaiki, named Kupe, found New Zealand in 950 AD.
Kupe called the land Aotearoa, meaning the Land of the Long White Cloud. There is some evidence of Aboriginal peoples already living there upon Kupe's landing and this supports Birdsell's Egypt/African migration ideas.
The Smithsonian Institution's DNA tracking and human migration project seeks to link blood types and subtypes among global peoples to, among other things, settle the score on the migrations of all peoples around the world as far back into antiquity as possible. Work is still active in the Oceana migrations.
New Zealand indigenous Maori history has been maintained by descendants only in epic-length, stylized songs and chants memorized and handed down through the generations. The use of oral histories is very specific and very complex. It entails a prescribed etiquette that must be maintained, including aggressive and explosive verbal greetings, the haka or war chant, and the wero, which is a challenge. On one level, the tradition recalls the oral recitations necessary among an alien race in the film Enemy Mine, starring Roy Gossett Jr.
Around 1350 AD, many people from Polynesian Hawaiki immigrated to New Zealand, based on Kupe's reports and maps surviving from 950 AD.
The resulting intermix of peoples formed tribes (nations called Iwi) and bands called Hapu, while smaller communities are known as Whanau.
Maori Tribes have been distinguished each by its own particular style of canoe and the unique craftsmanship and artwork applied to them. In this respect, the Maori are similar to the First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest of Canada and USA. In fact, one theory of the Totem Pole in the Pacific Northwest is that it came into being after Native North Americans found a Polynesian carved pole washed up onto the beach in the Queen Charlotte Islands (see map below). This is no longer far fetched, since debris from Japanese natural disasters in the 2010s washed up in the American West.
People, Artifacts and Debris May Have Traveled to the North American West Coast
Maori Carving, Similar to the Pacific Northwest Groups
Possible Route of Carved Poles from Oceana
Maori Group Interaction
At least one of the Maori bands was cannibalistic, according to history, and lived in the Queen Charlotte Sounds region (see the map to the right for the location, between the islands).
Maori tribes and sub-tribes/bands apparently battled over land during the period in which they were hunters and agriculturalists, and they occasionally took the losers in battle as slaves. Many human groups have done the same all over the world.
Sometimes, the losers to the Maori group were beheaded and the heads kept as a symbol of power by the victorious. However, only one group is though to have eaten its losers to gain their brain and muscular powers.
This tradition is also similar to some other groups internationally.It may or may not be part of the evidence for a specific migration route out of Africa.
Most of the Iwi group in antiquity lived as three social classes:
- Priesthood, and
There appeared to be no "middle classes."
Land was owned by the whole Iwi or Hapu group together. In the center of each Indigenous village was a place reserved for the Spirit Ancestors to reside. In preserving their Spirit Ancestors, the Maori are similar in traditiuons to Australian Aboriginals and some other groups.
Papua New Guinea
Orchid Island, Taiwan
Human Migration Project Claims All Migration from West to East.
Further, in the vein of Birdsell's work, it was thought that the African Group that split in two, to the north and south at Oceana, each or both migrated further to New Zealand and Tasmania, and then to other islands.
The Human Migration Project and DNA tracking by partners National Choreographic, The Smithsonian, and IBM shows through DNA tracking analysis that human migration was completely west to east. That is, Africans migrated to Australia and later up to New Guinea, then to New Zealand, and from there to the islands to the east and northeast in the Pacific Ocean.
There seems to be controversy over the historical records and oral traditions related to Kupe from Hawiki having discovered New Zealand so-to-speak for Polynesians that later reportedly migrated to that island nation.
Theoretical Migration to New Zealand and Australia
Controversy In Foundation Stories Of New Zealand
Different groups of researchers and the public find different versions of the founding discovery and settlement of New Zealand to be most accurate.
In 2013, the Smithsonian/National Geographic/IBM Human Genome and Migration project shows no migration into New Zealand at all.
The organization may post information after enough Maori purchase the $200 DNA individual test kits and send in their test swabs. Until then, we can only think that there is not enough solid evidence by Western standards to say who were the First People in New Zealand.
The leading thought in the early 2010s has been that the first people to arrive in New Zealand were any of:
- Australian Aborigines, who are related more closely to Africans that to Asians or Europeans through DNA.
- Taiwanese (see Orchid Island, above)
- Of Unknown Origin: see quotation below -
"The Original Inhabitants of New Zealand: Their Origin, Physical Peculiarities, and Culture.
According to Maori tradition, the first inhabitants of New Zealand were a people of unknown origin, whose racial or tribal name, if any, has not been preserved. The Maori knows them as Maruiwi, which name is said to have been not a tribal one, but merely that of one of their chiefs at the time when the Maori from eastern Polynesia arrived on these shores. The first of these Maori settlers are shown in tradition to have reached New Zealand twenty-eight to thirty generations ago. At that time the Maruiwi folk were occupying many portions of the North Island. They were the descendants of castaways who had reached these shores in past times, and landed on the Taranaki coast. They had been driven from their own land by a westerly storm. Their home-land, according to the accounts given by their descendants, was a hot country—a much warmer land than this In appearance these folk are said to have been tall and slim-built, dark-skinned, having big or protuberant bones, flat-faced and flat-nosed, with upturned nostrils. Their eyes were curiously restless, and they had a habit of glancing sideways without turning the head. Their hair in some cases stood upright, in others it was bushy."
-- Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961. National Library of New Zealand at http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/volume/rsnz_48/rsnz_48_00_004950.html Retrieved July 12, 2013.
Maori Information and Photos
- Akaroa Museum - Banks Peninsula
- Canoe Carving At Evergreen College
The story of a visiting Maori artist and the canoe that was created at Evergreen College, Washington State. Similarities between Maori and Pacific Northwest indigenous art were explored.
- Evergreen Longhouse Education and Cultural Center.
Teaching about the Northwest Indigenous Nations, their history and culture and their relatedness with other Indigenous Peoples around the world.
- Lake Taupo Museum
Maori Treasures and Maori Stories.
A Maori Scene
Maori - European Interaction
Able Tasman is recorded as the earliest European to find New Zealand, by ship in the mid-17th century. He arrived from Holland to the New Zealand western coastal areas, found the land uninhabitable, as had other Dutch in western Australia, and left the region.
Captain James Cook arrived from England over 100 years later in 1769 (18th century). He claimed the land for the British Crown, but was attacked by the Maori before he left and lost some sailors in these battles. After this period of exploration, many other European explorers merchants entered New Zealand to search for gold and other resources. The Maoris were involved in inter-tribal wars at this time as well as in resisting European invasion and this resulted in a various forms of frequent violence.
Conflicts continued until 1840. In that year the Maoris signed the Treaty of Waitangi, giving up their national sovereignty to the British Crown to become a colony, in exchange for protection and guaranteed ownership of traditional Maori lands. Unfortunately, the Europeans did not abide by the treaty and war ensued in 1860, resulting in the loss of many Maori lives.
At the end of the 19th century, gold was discovered and sheep ranching had taken hold to bring prosperity to New Zealand. In the light of these successes, the government enacted human rights reforms that included the women's vote, social security, trade unions, and child care services for all. New Zealand become increasing independent until declared a sovereign nation in 1947.
Maoritanga, the culture and the people of the Maoris, began to increase from the early 1900 to the 21st century. In 1985, the Treaty of Waitangi was revised and reparations were paid to the Maoris for injustices done by Europeans.
However, there have been some problems with defining what constitutes an appropriate amount for reparations and some Maoris continue to protest inequities.
A Maori Elder, Maki Ruka
Elder Mac Wirema Korako Ruka belongs to the Waitaha Maoris of new Zealand, a nation that traces its lineage through the women in the family. Such a system is called matrilineage. Elder Ruka is the grandson of a Matriarch (queen) and states that his whole life of performing ceremonies dates back 500,000 years. Waitaha is a Maori word that means, water carriers.
Jim Elder Yellow Horse Man, a Cherokee medicine man, traveled through New Zealand with Elder Ruka and worked with him. This is the first working partner that Elder Ruka ever took and he did so after an elderly Cree woman from Canada told Maki Ruka about a dream she had had about him working with a man. The woman had met Jim and then Maki Ruka. She told Elder Ruka of the dream and then related it to Jim. Jim and Maki Ruka then met and found that they had all of the same prophecies given to them independently.
Elder Ruka was initiated into a type of priesthood by his tribal elders at the age of only three. This process was similar to that of choosing a new Dalai Llama for Tibet, but with unique Maori specifications.
Elder Ruka was chosen as an adult by the United Nations as one of just seven spiritual elders globally to announce to the world the ancient prophecies of their cultures. Elder Ruka met with other spiritual leaders that included Pope John Paul II, the Dali Lama, and Mother Theresa, among others. He spoke at gatherings in South America at Machu Picchu, in Israel, and in India, China, and Russia.
BACK TO EGYPT, THE POSSIBLE ORIGIN
Elder Maki Ruka also spoke and performed a significant ceremony in Egypt, from where scientist Joseph Birdsell claimed that the Maoris originated, migrating southeast to Oceana and then taking a northern rout to New Zealand.
Elder Raku performed The Unveiling of the Goddess, in order to introduce his cultural perspective of matrilineage and divine Matriarchy to Egypt.
PROPHECIES, ELDER MAKI RUKA, 1997
From Manataka American Indian Council:
We see great changes in the weather. We see water upon water upon water. The changing of the climate of the great mother earth, and the shifting. The coming of the Millennium, the year 2000, we see the changes in the structures of government. The fall of the monetary system. We see a time of beauty. We are living in the time of chaos, technology, where technology has left man behind. This is the sad part. Technology is leaving us so far behind. Billions and Billions of dollars to create one plane. This money could feed thousands of children's in many, many countries.
New Zealand All Blacks; Haka 2006
Series on Aborigines in Oceana
- Aboriginals of Australia
Migration, Human DNA tracking projects, migration, origins, customs, Spirit Ancestors, the Dreamtime, lniks, and photos.
- Aboriginal Australian Cooking
Australian Aboriginals have a cooking tradition all their own, most of their methods originating in and around outdoor fires. Boiling and barbecuing are fairly new for the wide variety and plant and animals foods available...
- Famous Aborigines
These are eight Australian and Tasmanian Aboriginals that have made a lasting impression on me with their determination to pursue reconciliation of Aborigines and whites through government, first contact interactions, sports, music, fine arts, writin
Questions & Answers
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS