Chatham Islands PeopleChatam Islands People
About Chatam Islands. These are Polynesian people whose language and culture are related to those of the Maori. Mine seventy years on the Chatham Islands: Memories of David Holmes. ""I have met many people representing many church groups on Chatham Island.
Moriori's sad story, who have learnt to be on the edge of the world.
Farming was almost not possible on this group of two large islands and one freckle of smaller ones. The weather was cool, raining 200 nights a year and had unrelenting wind so strong that the island's gnarly tree growth returned to itself and its twigs almost reached the bed. There was an almost endless vastness of the sea to the eastern side of the islands, 5,000 leagues from the nearest land mass:
Upon their advent, this fellowship of people known as the Moriori would adjust almost every part of their life to these hostile circumstances, which include their diet, clothes, transportation, social structure and militaristic practice. They were pacifists, hunters and gatherers for centuries - until in 1835 members of two New Zealand New Zealand chiefs came to the islands from M?ori, were slaughtered between one-sixth and one-fifth of the Moriori and slaved the remainder.
How exactly these early colonists came to the Chatham Islands and what they were looking for is still a puzzle, as are many facets of their life. In the Moriori Fölkklore cited by New Zealand scholar James Belich in Making Peoples, "told them their atua[God] that there was country in the Orient, and they went and populated it.
" Moriori were the descendants of the same seafarers who discovered and populated by means of doublehull cannoes centuries of islands over thousand of kilometres of the world's seas, from New Zealand via Hawaii to the Easter Islands. Neither are the Chathams. The bigger of the two major islands, Chatham Island, is about 30 nautical leagues in width, with about one-fifth of the landmass being taken up by a major Laguna.
Shaped by vulcanic activities, the islands are lined by vertiginous steep rocks of base rock and consist of a completely different structure in a relatively small area. Well, Pitt Island, in the South is about a dime a pop. These islands, which in January rise to 65°C, are both too cool and too rough to cultivate conventional Polyynesian produce such as yams, taroes or mozzi.
Chatham Islands have no indigenous terrestrial animals, but a large populations of long-legged riparian and woodland birds, such as the humming Tuis and the melodic belfet. Moriori had to look to the ocean to live. In a few hundred years after their advent they had evolved a way of living that was largely unaltered until the Europeans arrived in 1791.
" King said that perhaps 30 of the hundred plant species in the Chatham Islands were eatable - and none were particularly delectable. For this reason, most of the daily life on the Chathams was devoted to collecting from the ocean the Moriori needed to surviv. Throughout the year, the Moriori were hunting furry furred furry hounds, providing them with bubbles, flesh and furs to make watertight coats, with the coat inward.
We had enough to feed on these isolated islands, but our lives were tough and often brief. According to King, the mean lifespan was around 32 years, with about a third of the total childhood deaths. They were not slaughtered by carnivores, war or hunger, but by life-long damages to their teeths caused by gravelly crustaceans.
Moriori had come to the islands in double-hulled rafts, but the rough environment also called for their change. The remoteness, with only 2,000 inhabitants, necessitated a revision of the company's policy and the settlement of conflicts. The Moriori tribe existed in areas of up to 100 inhabitants spread across the two larger islands.
1873 the journal Catholic World publishes an extensive interview with Koche, a Moriori man who had found work on an US ship. They", he said, "had been living in fullness and harmony for hundreds of years, enjoying a democratic life and conducting their humble business with a counsel of distinguished men. "However, in similar Polish society the violent war was widespread - on New Zealand's continental shelf tribalism remains a characteristic of many conflicts between M?ori ie or strains.
The Moriori, however, adopted the pacifist regime known as Nunucus Act. In other parts of the Pacific Islands, men demonstrated their manhood and power through war and the pains of full body ink. However, Moriori seems to have given up getting a tattoo and instead, King says, replaced other activity to show their value.
" Those influencing factor was who became eeriki or chieftain, and not the default inheritance on other Polyynesian islands. A Chatham resident under Moriori in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Shand described her life style in detail in the Journal of the Pacific Society. Instead of struggling, he said, the Moriori clans would "organize expeditions" and on their advent "recite incantation formulas for the victory of their faction, as in a real war.
In general, however, they did live peacefully - as teens, with large homes and in unpaved, A-shaped homes bordered with cortex for warmness. Moriori used a complex system of ritual and rule to develop a way of live that guaranteed their long-term viability while at the same time conserving the Earth's nature. Maybe Moriori would have perpetuated these tranquil customs to the present time.
However, in November 1791, a maritime accident sent a UK naval craft, the HMS Chatham, further southward than planned - and into the Chatham Islands, which were soon to be renamed after the warship. As they saw the boat, Moriori came to the coast to welcome these newcomers.
" While the British had previously met tribal peoples and sought no struggle, the Moriori had been divided from other peoples for hundreds of years without a single term for people who were not like themselves or a single term for their own people. When the British returned to the boat, they chose to "cultivate their friendship" and return with an offering of hats, pearls and scarves.
Moriori did not commit himself. In the midst of a back and forth of misunderstandings, a battle broke out and a Moriori man, Tamakaroro, was killed and his life was abandoned on the sands. As the Brits went, the Moriori ruled that they were to blame for the struggle and had disgraced Nunucus' laws.
Tamakaroro's corpse was abandoned on the bank and the British had disappeared - the "Sun People", perhaps called after the pallor of their skins, were in fact not the cannibal Moriori thought they were. When they returned, they agreed to be welcomed with a token of serenity. In 50 years, the Chathams had become an everyday spectacle for overseas ship.
Although few formal notes were kept, millions of UK and Australia vessels flooded the islands to kill beasts. Only masculine fur seals were slaughtered by Moriori, especially the older ones, but the Europeans were random and left the animal they had flayed to rotting on the islands. In the 1830', King wrote, almost all of them had disappeared from the islands and had taken an important spring of nutrition, fuels and cold cloth.
In spite of these insults, the Moriori remained pacifists. Until 1835, a relatively tranquil and contented fellowship of some 1,600 Moriori was living alongside new arrivals from New Zealand's New Zealand and Europe. Moriori aspects of their lives had been irreparably changed, swine replaced the seal and imported the cat and dog that decimated the indigenous bird population, but things were not as different as they always were.
Most of them had been abandoned and had remained in compliance with the Nunuku Act, even in the face of pathogens and armed visitor groups. However, in 1835 the members of the M?ori clans Ng?ti Tama and Ng?ti Mutunga, who live in today's Wellington, New Zealand, chose to hike to the Chatham Islands.
About 500 men, wives and kids came to the coast, decided to take the country they found there through a practise named "walking the land", where they roamed the islands and set up wherever they wanted. The Moriori, who did not agree or tried to keep their counties, were butchered in summary. There are about 1,000 Moriori who gather to debate what they should do.
These invasions were different from earlier arrives that came, took supplies and then went. A number of younger men claimed that Nunucus' laws were meant to keep them from each other and that they were not meant for those who were not Moriori. So the Moriori chose not to struggle. King wrote that M?ori seem to have at about the same moment ruled that a pre-emptive attack was necessary.
Soon after, several hundred Moriori were murdered by M?ori "At least 220 men and wives were murdered, and many more were born. Records of a Moriori Elder Councillor from 1862 list all the Moriori adults who lived on that date in 1835. There was a crucifix that signified that they had either passed away or been murdered; two crucifixes signified that they had been boiled and ate, a tradition that is customary in continental territorial wars.
Anyone who had not been murdered was slain, segregated from their family and excluded from marriage. "Moriori regarded M?ori as a different and substandard people and murdered people because they belonged to the Moriori group. In 30 years there were only about 100 Moriori remaining. After 30 years of enslavement, an already fractured people was wronged; the 97.
3% of the Chatham Islands to Ng?ti Mutunga M?ori in a 1870 Native Land Court ruling; and the systematical depiction of Moriori as a "lazy, foolish people" that differs from M?ori and Polynesi in a copy of the 1916 School Journals, a set of education journals used in New Zealand primary school.
The last "full-blooded" Moriori, known as Tommy Solomon, passed away in 1933 and many claimed that the Moriori had disappeared forever. However, several hundred Moriori offspring have established themselves in New Zealand, albeit far from the Chatham Islands, in a land that has often neglected to recognise their attendance or what had occurred to them.
However, since the 1980' these historic horrors have been gradually recognised as what they were, mainly thanks to the continuing effort of the approximately 900 Moriori still in New Zealand. Moriori was granted part of the wealth of fishery in the Chatham Islands by a New Zealand court in 1994; in 1997 the first Moriori marine, a assembly building, began to be built on the Chatham Islands in over 160 years.
New Zealand Education Minister Anne Tolley traveled to the islands in 2011 to present Moriori with a new range of school magazines that tell her stories in detail. Moriori: A History of Survival expels a hundred years of accumulated defamation about the Moriori - another stage in the retribution of a people who have been surviving and thriving since their first visit to the Chathams, no matter how great the likelihood.