Monday, May 25, 2009

The MAORI People ...

"Hi everybody!

Many of you asked me to speak about Maori so I decided to make you happy....
I did some research because I wouldn't make mistakes telling you about this People. There are so many things to tell you about them so I think I will do it in more than one day, otherwise you will become bored I'm afraid!! Today I am going to tell you a little bit of history and I will show you some pictures we shot three years ago, when our cousins Valentina and Gianfranco, came to visit us. In that occasion we went to visit an ancient village, now used only as a tourist attraction, situated few kilometres from Rotorua, in the middle of the North Island. It is in the middle of a wood and all the huts are in wood as well. They are very tiny so you can't stay stand up in one of that. They were used just for sleeping as Maori used to live all together in the village.

There are many legends about Maori so dates are not so sure. Anyway, I will tell you what I found.....
In the 1300s the Maori came from the islands hundreds of miles to the north and by 1500 had established contact with over 60 countries, including the Vikings. When the English began to settle here the Maori had many of the same experiences as American Indians - wasted by white man's diseases, and their huge sequoia like (kauri) forests were razed. The Maori fared well compared to natives in other countries because they were such fierce warriors. Even with superior weapons the whites gave up fairly quickly. The land was so rugged and the Maori so fierce and scary, that the whites signed treaties which they largely kept (quite a contrast to most histories with native peoples). In 1840 the Waitangi treat was signed between 45 Maori head-men and Captain William Hobson and so the Maori had a relatively peaceful and prosperous relationship with the English. Today this treat is still very important as it defines the relation between white and Maori regarding both aspects financial and territorial. The Maori were cannibals who ate their enemies as a way to insult them. Much of the Maori art shows bulging stomachs to warn you what will happen if you mess with the locals. I think all these should be very scary for enemies! It was probably one of the main reasons white people came here just in the late 1600s.
Below you will find some pictures of carvings images. As you can see all the faces are with tattoos. In fact it is very common here seeing Maori with many of them. Some people have both arms and legs painted!! Do you like them?

Today some of the tribes are quite well off, as they own large tracts of land which they lease. They are all over the island, fully integrated into every aspect and corner of NZ.

Well, it's all for today. I hope you enjoyed this story! I will tell you more tomorrow.
Have a wonderful day!!!!

Rosalba "

in BBC Learning English


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