CHAPTER I: THE NATIVE RACE--PAST AND PRESENT.
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THE NATIVE RACE--PAST AND PRESENT.
OCCUPYING a commanding position in the Southern Ocean, within a few days' sail of the great continent of Australia, possessing numerous safe and commodious harbours, enjoying a temperate climate and a fertile soil, abundantly watered, rich in valuable timber, and not without indications of great mineral wealth, it would be difficult to find any portion of the earth's surface presenting so many advantages for British colonization as the distant islands of New Zealand. When these islands shall have become a powerful empire, exercising a leading influence in the Southern Seas, the novelist will be able to enlist the sympathies of his readers in the imaginary trials and the fictitious adventures of its then forgotten founders. Events which now appear of commonplace occurrence, and which fail to arrest the atten-
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tion of the busy multitude, will then be regarded with eager interest; and the men, manful and godly, practical and enthusiastic, prudent and self-sacrificing, who have been engaged in founding an empire among the islands of the South, will then take rank with British worthies, as great actors in an "heroic work" of a most illustrious reign. And when, slowly but surely, the dark blood of the Maori shall have faded in that of the pale face who is destined to replace him, and when the heightened colour in some passing cheek shall be the only living remnant of the dark-skinned race, then will the early history of these islands, and the commingling of their races, be read with all the interest of romance.
There is reason to believe that their native inhabitants have occupied the islands of New Zealand for at least five hundred years; but, though they can trace back their genealogy for more than twenty generations, there no longer exists any reliable tradition of their origin. Beyond their geographical position, but little is yet known of the numerous islands of the Pacific; but amongst the great variety of languages spoken in that vast Archipelago, 1
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distinct traces of the Maori language are to be found in several small islands lying northwards of the New Zealand group. In Rennell Island, the inhabitants, consisting of not more than a dozen families, speak a dialect of the Maori language, and are tattooed like the New Zealanders; and in the neighbouring island of Bellona, the language spoken by its few inhabitants is the same. In the small Stewart's Island coral group, the language spoken by the people is also a dialect of the Maori. Even in the Sandwich Islands, distant more than 3,000 miles, many of the words in common use differ only in the addition or omission of a single letter from the language now spoken by the natives of New Zealand; and it has been conjectured that the Maori race have migrated, directly, or by intermediate steps, from Ha-wai-i--the Owhyhee of Captain Cook. In the Maori legends of the Creation, mention is made of birds, of fish, of insects, and of reptiles, but no allusion is made to the beasts of the field; it is probable, therefore, that the race from which the Maories originally sprung must, to a remote period of antiquity, have had their habitation in those regions of the world where the larger animals were unknown; but at what period, or in what manner, they first arrived in New Zealand, is now altogether unknown. Whatever may have been their origin, however, their ancestors, to reach the islands of New Zealand, must have traversed in their canoes certainly more than a thousand miles of sea.
Their own traditions contain the most minute
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particulars of their origin: where they last came from, however, and when they first landed in these islands, is, in reality, but matter of conjecture. As to the minute particulars of their early history, the versions to be met with amongst them are somewhat various; but, in their main features, the native traditions still preserved throughout the country are wonderfully agreed. All give the same account of the name of the place from whence they came--of the direction in which it lies--of the reasons which led to their migration--and of the localities in which they first landed in their islands. The names even of the canoes in which they made the voyage--of the timber of which they were built--of the name of the builder--and of the crews by which they were navigated--and an account of the address delivered to them on taking leave of their native land, at least 500 years ago, have all been carefully preserved, and handed down to the present day through more than twenty generations. All agree that their ancestors came from a country called "Hawaiki" (which in the Sandwich Islands would be called "Hawaii"), and which they describe as lying to the N. E. of New Zealand: they also agree that they were not driven off by stress of weather; but that, being harassed by wars and dissensions, they resolved to seek a new home; and that they embarked in several canoes built and fitted out expressly for the purpose. Tradition has also preserved the valedictory address with which they were cheered on embarking in their adventurous undertaking. "Now do you, my
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children," said the Hawaikian patriarch, "depart in peace; and when you reach the land you are going to, do not follow after the deeds of Tu, the God of War, for if you do, you will perish as if swept away by the winds. Follow, rather, quiet and peaceful occupations, as you will then die quietly a natural death. Go, then, and live in peace with all men, and leave war and strife behind you. Depart and dwell in peace. War and its evils are driving you from your fatherland: live, then, in peace where you are going to. Conduct yourselves like men: let there be no quarrellings amongst you; but build up a great and powerful people."
That their ancestors reached these islands at different times, and landed in various places, their traditions are also agreed. About twenty miles to the north of Auckland, forming the western angle of the Frith of the Thames, there runs out a long, low promontory, connected with the main by a narrow strip of land; and here, according to native tradition, the founders of the Maori race first landed in New Zealand. Of the several canoes which formed the expedition, the "Tainui" was the first to reach the shores. Finding a sperm whale stranded on the beach, the crew named the place Wanga Paroa, by which name the peninsula has ever since been known. Soon afterwards the "Arawa" also made the land at Wanga-paroa; but neither party remained there long: the "Tainui" proceeding up the Frith of the Thames in the direction of the Waitemata, and entering the inlet of the Tamaki as far as "Ota-
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huhu." Here the crew dragged their canoe across the narrow strip of land which separates the waters of the eastern and western coasts. Launching again into the Bay of Manukau, they sailed down the harbour, and through the heads, out to sea again in a southerly direction, along the western coast, until they reached Kawhia, a small harbour mid-way between Manukau and Taranaki: and here they finally settled; throwing off swarms, from time to time, along the neighbouring coasts. And a tribe called the "Tainui" are to be found at Kawhia to the present day, whose chief claims direct descent from one of the adventurous voyagers; and a canoe-shaped rock in the neighbourhood is seriously believed by them to be itself the petrified "Tainui." The second canoe which reached New Zealand was the "Arawa." Her crew also first landed at "Wanga-paroa;" they then proceeded down the eastern coast as far as Maketu, where they settled, and gradually spread themselves inland to Rotorua, Taupo, and Whanganui. The "Mata-Atua" was the next to arrive: her crew first landed also on the eastern coast of the northern island, in the Bay of Plenty; and their descendants afterwards spread themselves along the coast in a southerly direction. Of the proceedings of the rest of the expedition, comparatively little is known. How far these native traditions are well founded is now a matter of doubt: it is certain, however, that a considerable portion of the Maori race claim to have sprung from the crew of the three canoes, whose history, in the most minute
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particulars, through successive generations, has been thus carefully preserved.
The descendants of these adventurous navigators-- evidently a mixed race--are a fine body of men, dark brown in colour, full sized in stature, and with an independent and manly bearing. They have large and well-formed intellectual heads, and a powerful muscular development. Many of them are above the middle height, of a light copper colour, with straight black hair; these are evidently of Malay origin. Others again, who are comparatively short, of a dark brown colour, with crisp and curly hair, bear some traces of African descent. The Maori women have a large share of the drudgery of life, marry young, fade early, and, as is commonly the case with uncivilized races, are, in their physical appearance, greatly inferior to the men. Few of the Maories have whiskers: nor do they wear beards; but instead of shaving, they pluck out the hair with a pair of pipi shells. Owing to the face being covered with tattoo marks, many of the older native men appear to be almost black: but the practice of tattooing is discontinued as they become converts to Christianity. The operation, performed with a hammer and a serrated chisel, causes great swelling and excruciating pain, and is sometimes the work of years. The punctures are stained with a dark vegetable dye: the pattern, in circles and curved lines, is punctured on various parts of the person, as well as on the face; and the faces, hips, &c, of the great chiefs are usually covered with ornamental scrolls. Il faut
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souffrire pour etre beau; and like tight-lacing amongst ourselves, and small shoes with the Chinese, tattooing (painful as it is) is submitted to for the sake of its beautifying effects. The Maori women, however, are but slightly tattooed, having only a few lines cut about the lower lip and chin.
As a body, they are intelligent, high-spirited, and warlike, but good humoured. They are inquisitive, communicative, and almost incapable of keeping a secret: but, except in broad outline, it is not easy to give an accurate delineation of their character. They are far from being either simple, shallow, or transparent; and their character is by no means to be comprehended at a glance. To form a true conception of it, the Maori must be seen in his native Kainga, and among his own countrymen. Seen alone, in the midst of our English settlements, he is, in manner at least, quite a different creature. Hardly any two classes, in the colony itself, have formed the same estimate of the native character. Of their language, manners, and customs, the colonists themselves are, for the most part, as ignorant as the people of England. For the purposes of trade, the natives constantly, and in large numbers, frequent our English settlements: but the two races really live apart; and, with the exception of the missionaries and a few isolated settlers, few have sufficient knowledge of the language, superstitions, and social life of the native race to be able to form a judgment of their real character. They are themselves quick observers, and have the tact to take for the moment
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the tone of those with whom they are brought into contact, and they exhibit that particular phase of their own character which the occasion may require. The gentleman is struck by their natural good breeding, and their quiet gentlemanly demeanour; the coarse and vulgar-minded who trade with, and live familiarly amongst them, describe them as ungrateful, avaricious, and disobliging; the soldier, who has met them in, the field, always speaks of them with respect; the good humoured and light hearted are pleased with their ready appreciation of a joke; and the political agent rarely boasts his superiority over them in diplomatic skill: each observer seems to see himself reflected in their character; and hence, probably, the diversity of opinion respecting it. Like more highly civilized people, they combine qualities the most opposite and contradictory. Individuality and independence are probably their most striking characteristics. Amongst those of the same rank, no one ventures to interfere with, or to assume the slightest authority over, his neighbour. The Maori has none of the materials in his composition to make a pet of: he has nothing of the gentle, loving nature, the affectionate disposition, and the child-like docility of the negro race. He is impatient of injustice, yet amenable to reason, and possesses more common sense and judgment than the mass of a European community. They are keen traders, very cautious, and are not easily deceived. They have not had the advantage of inheriting our gradually acquired powers of abstract thought; but in intellectual quickness,
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they are by no means inferior to ourselves. They prefer the useful to the ornamental; spend nothing in mere trash and finery, and appear to have little taste for, or appreciation of, the beautiful.
In their social and domestic relations, much harmony and good feeling seem to prevail amongst them, and they are seldom seen to quarrel amongst themselves. Even when they first became known to us, and while they were in a state of unmitigated barbarism, "the mild and gentle disposition, both of the men and women," was remarked by Capt. Cook. Considering how little the Maori children are subject to restraint, their quiet and orderly conduct is especially remarkable. In bringing them up, the parents seldom have recourse to personal chastisement, believing that it has the effect of damaging the spirit of the child. At an early age, the Maori children acquire great self-respect; and at the public discussions of their elders, they may be seen seated around the outer circle, attentive, grave, and thoughtful listeners. It is only in the interior of New Zealand, however, that the natives can now be seen in their primitive condition, unaffected in their habits and manner of life by English civilization. If a stranger happen to be at a large native settlement on the occasion of some melancholy event of general interest, he can hardly fail to be impressed with the manner in which the Maori people give utterance to their sorrow; and in nothing, perhaps, are the New Zealanders so little altered as in the expression of their grief. It is hardly possible, indeed, to conceive any
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sound more expressive of heart-broken sorrow than the native Tangi. On the occasion of the death of a relative, or of any other sorrowful event, they assemble together, and commence their melancholy wail. Tears roll down their cheeks in constant streams; the countenance expresses the utmost intensity of grief; the head is bent down, half-buried in the folds of the blanket, and a shrill piercing wail gives expression to the most heart-rending grief. This melancholy cry will sometimes be kept up without ceasing throughout the day--now one and now another of the mourners keeping up the note with unabated violence. Yet these sounds of lamentation and woe often mean no more, and express no more real feeling, than our own "deep mourning," or the practised gravity of our hired mutes. This same sorrowful cry, but with mitigated violence, is commonly indulged in when friends or relatives meet after a lengthened absence. After rubbing noses together--the accustomed mode of native salutation, they set up the same wailing sound, relating to each other at the same time, in a low muttering tone unintelligible to any but themselves, all the events of interest which have happened since they met. Yet, knowing that these sounds of sorrow are often but a form, and endeavour as he may to steel his heart against their influence, it is impossible for a stranger to hear the native Tangi without a feeling of sorrowful emotion. But the New Zealanders have great command over their feelings, and however anxious they may be, they are never betrayed into eagerness or
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haste. The account given of the North American Indians might have been written of the natives of New Zealand. "When an Indian arrives with a message of the greatest importance to his tribe--even with intelligence of the most imminent danger--ne never tells it at his first approach, but sits down for a minute or two in silence, to recollect himself before he speaks, that he may not evince fear or excitement." The number of the native race has generally been exaggerated, but no regular census has yet been taken. Their own mode of numbering the people is like that of the Israelites of old: the women and children not being reckoned, but only the fighting men. Of the total population of the islands, the natives have less knowledge than ourselves: taking the best data from which our estimate can be formed, there is no reason to believe that the whole native race now exceed seventy thousand souls. In some few districts, the population has increased within the last few years; in others, again, it has been nearly stationary; but more generally it has been decreasing, and there is no longer any doubt that the Maori race are fewer in number than they were twenty years ago. There is a sensible diminution also in the number of very aged venerable-looking men. In almost every part of the country, the sexes are unequal: the males predominating. And the children are still comparatively few: the average number of children born is, indeed, in many cases, considerable; but they commonly die young. In some parts of the country, the children are reported to be "healthy
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and numerous;" but more commonly they are found to be "decreasing and few." Some years ago, the influenza carried off a considerable number of the natives, of all ages; and more recently the measles proved still more destructive. Small-pox has not yet shown itself in the country, and great efforts have been made to prepare for it by a general vaccination of the people. In one respect, their constitution appears to have improved; owing, probably, to the use of wheaten bread, and to a general improvement in their diet: they certainly appear less scrofulous than before.
When in their heathen state, the New Zealanders had no knowledge of one supreme Being as the alone Creator of all things. "Is there one maker of all things amongst you Europeans?" urged one of their most powerful heathen chiefs. "Is not one a carpenter, another a blacksmith, another a shipbuilder, and another a housebuilder? and so it was in the beginning. One made this, and another that. The god Tane made trees, Ra made mountains, and Tangaroa made fish." "Your religion," added he, addressing the Christian missionary, "is of to-day-- ours, from remote antiquity: think not to destroy our ancient faith with your own new-born religion." In the order of existence, they believed that Thought came first, then Spirit, and that last of all came Matter; but though they believed in the existence of a spiritual world, they had no knowledge of the one true God.
Considering, however, the barbarous condition in
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which they were discovered, and the savage practices which so recently prevailed amongst them, their ancient mythological legends were strikingly imaginative and poetical. Their ancient mythology is not without some traces of a Mosaic origin. The first man, they believed, was made by three gods; and the first woman was made from his rib; and that mankind had but one pair of primitive ancestors. Upon the birth of a child he immediately underwent the ceremony of being sprinkled with water on the face by the heathen priest. According to the ancient belief, darkness for a length of time prevailed, and the heaven and the earth were united together in close contact. The issue of their union was a numerous progeny, who, wearied by their confinement between the bodies of their parents, conspired together to separate the heaven from the earth. It was at first proposed to slay them; but it was ultimately decided to rend them asunder--so that the sky should become a stranger to them, but that the earth should remain close to them as a nursing-mother. The attempt was made by the progeny, in turn; but each failed to lift up the heaven from the earth. One of them, at length, by a mighty effort, succeeded in separating the heaven from the earth. And then it was that darkness was made manifest, and so was the light. Then, too, was discovered a multitude of human beings, who had hitherto remained concealed between the bodies of their parents.
They believed, too, that, for a time, death had no power over man; and if a certain goddess had not
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been deceived by a demigod, that men would not have died, but would have lived for ever. By that deceit, however, death obtained power over mankind, and penetrated to every part of the earth. From the period of their separation, concludes the legend, the vast Heaven has ever remained separated from his spouse the Earth. But their mutual love still continues: the soft warm sighs of her loving bosom still ever rise towards him, ascending from the woody mountains and valleys in a form which men call mist. And the vast Heaven, as he mourns through the long nights his separation from his beloved, sheds frequent tears upon her bosom; and men seeing these, call them dew-drops.
From ignorance of the nature of their religious belief, the character of the New Zealanders has frequently been misunderstood. It was thought strange that so sensible a people should attach so much importance to the observance of the Tapu, or Tabou, as it is commonly termed in the Polynesian Islands; and that they should subject themselves to the constant inconveniences of an apparently childish and unmeaning custom. Yet their many singular customs are nearly all based upon the religious sentiment. They had no knowledge, it is true, in their heathen state, of One Supreme Being, as the Creator and Governor of the Universe, but they had a strong belief in a spiritual state of existence. On the death of their best-loved and most honoured friend or relative, he became, as they believed, the Guardian Spirit of the family. Death had been to him no more than
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a sudden change from a visible to an invisible state of existence, and his spirit--the Atua--continued still to take an interest in the ordinary affairs of life; more especially in the fortunes of the family, and in the conduct of its members. He sees and knows everything they think, and say, and do: he is especially jealous of the due observance of the native "Ritenga" by the surviving members of the family. They believed that the faithful observance of certain usages would be pleasing to him, while the neglect of them would draw down upon them the weight of his displeasure: they believe also, that the Atua has the power to reward and punish; that he can give health and prosperity, or visit with disease and death; and upon this belief was based a system of superstitious observances which materially affected their social condition in almost every relation of their lives.
It was believed that the Atua, or Spirit of the Dead, occasionally manifested itself to the living; sometimes in the body of the lizard, or a spider, &c, sometimes in the greenstone Tiki--worn by the natives as an ornament round the neck. When a stalwart Maori ran away in unmistakeable fear on seeing a small lizard, he was thought by those who were ignorant of native superstitions, to be an arrant coward; and when he was seen sometimes to regard with reverence the idol-shaped Tiki, the New Zealander was taken for an idolater; but it was neither the Tiki that he worshipped, nor the lizard which he feared, but the Atua itself, which was supposed to be within them. Whatever object the Atua came into contact with,
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acquired, as they thought, by the contact, a portion of the sacred essence, and thereby itself become Tapu, or sacred; and whatever touched the object which had thus become sacred, also became Tapu, and so on indefinitely; for it was believed that the sacred essence of the Atua was communicable by contagion. If food, therefore, or the vessel in which the food was contained, or the fire by which it was cooked, came into contact, even accidentally, with anything that was Tapu, the food could not bo eaten, neither could the vessel or the fire be used again; for if the food which had thus become Tapu had, however innocently, been eaten, the unpardonable sacrilege would have been committed of eating a portion of the Atua or Guardian Spirit of the family.
For reasons which have never been satisfactorily ascertained, the head and the back of a native chief are supposed of themselves to be sacred objects. For this reason a chief never carries food, except it may be in his hands; he is extremely careful not to enter a storehouse or any place where food is kept, lest the sacred parts of his person should, even accidentally, come into contact with it. If he do not eat the whole of the meat which may have been placed before him, he does not leave it carelessly behind him, but either carries it away with him or places it where it is not likely to be eaten by any other person. If the native Ritenga be, even unintentionally, broken, the unwitting offender, it was believed, would certainly be punished by the Atua with sickness or some other misfortune. Such being the consequences of infring-
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ing the laws relating to the Tapu, we can hardly be surprised that the natives of New Zealand, with their undoubting belief in the existence of an all-powerful Guardian Spirit, exercising a vigilant superintendence over every action of their lives, and jealous of the maintenance of the ancient Ritenga, should regard its due observance with the most punctilious reverence. 2* The belief that the persons of the great chiefs are sacred, was frequently turned by them to profitable account. By rubbing any object upon the sacred parts of their own persons, they assumed to exercise the power of rendering it Tapu or sacred. If an influential chief desired to secure any particular cultivation from intrusion, or any forest or river from being poached upon, or any road from being travelled on, he had only to call it his Head or his Backbone, and it at once became more secure from trespass than if it had been fenced round with a high stone wall; for afterwards to enter on the sacred ground would be as great an insult to the chief who Tapued it, as to seize him by the beard or the hair of his head. The power, however, thus assumed by them, was based, not so much upon any superstitious fear of offending the native Atua, as on the power of the chiefs to avenge any insult offered to themselves;
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and it was never exercised to obstruct any great general line of road, except by those whose name was itself a tower of strength, and who had confidence in its power to secure the Tapu from being broken: when once imposed, however, the prohibitory ban was no respecter of persons, and it extended to all alike, without distinction of rank or race. 3
The practice which prevailed amongst the New Zealanders of placing apart and isolating the sick, was commonly accepted as conclusive proof of their natural cold-blooded cruelty; but it was from no such feeling that the sick were carefully banished from amongst them. They believed that sickness of every kind arose from the actual presence within the sick man of some avenging Spirit, commissioned by the offended Atua to punish a violation of the native Ritenga. The punishment, too, was believed to be curiously apportioned to the magnitude of the offence. If the offence had been of a trivial nature, the agent selected to punish the offender was the Spirit of some departed friend or acquaintance, who from a friendly feeling would deal tenderly with him; if of a grave character, the Spirit of an infant would be employed, who, never having known the offender, would deal with him without fear or favour; but if it were a mortal offence, then some Spirit would be employed, who would take actual pleasure in punishing the victim, and delight to work his wicked will on the very vitals of the sufferer. It was from no feeling, then, of cruelty, that the sick
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were banished from amongst them; but (an Atua being believed to be within them) they were isolated and set apart, in order to avoid the risk of desecration. But from many of these vexatious inconveniences, the slaves enjoyed a singular immunity. When a Maori was taken captive by a conquering tribe, he, in a certain sense, became free by the fact of becoming a slave--he ceased to be influenced by the fear of the Atua. When he was taken from his own people, his own Atua no longer regarded him or took any interest in his conduct; and with the Atua of the conquering tribe he was not of the slightest account: thus, being in no danger of offending any Atua, a slave could do many things with impunity which his captors would avoid in mortal fear; and he consequently became a most useful member of the community.
Having abundance of fern root, the taro and the kumera; pigeons, wild ducks, kukus, and other birds; the rivers abounding with eels, the sands filled with pipis, cockles, and oysters, and the harbours teeming with a variety of fish--it is scarcely probable, especially as the women were not commonly partakers in the feast, that cannibalism was resorted to by the natives of New Zealand from a deficiency of food: the origin of the practice, however, has never been satisfactorily ascertained; but the practice, in modern times, has been confined to the eating of their enemies slain in battle, and it formed part of their elaborate and superstitious war ceremonies. As a general rule, the females were not allowed to eat human flesh; but the body of the first person slain in battle was sacred
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to the Atua, or God, who had given them the victory; and it was a custom that the chief female of the principal family of the victorious tribe should eat the ear. Cannibalism, however, amongst the New Zealanders, may now be considered to be extinct. The last-known instance of this practice, once common amongst them, occurred in the year 1844.
The New Zealanders have always been cultivators of the soil: upwards of five hundred years ago, their ancestors brought with them the taro, the kumera, and the gourd--three excellent vegetables, which they still highly value and cultivate with care; but until the last few years their agricultural operations were carried on in the most primitive manner, and with hardly any other implement than a pointed stick. They select the best soil for cultivation, crop it until it is nearly exhausted, and then abandon it for a virgin soil. In this manner large crops of potatoes, wheat, kumeras, and Indian corn, have been grown by them. Their kumera cultivations are kept with all the labour and neatness of a London market-garden. They are now, however, beginning to use the plough, and the attempt is being made to induce them to breed sheep and cattle, instead of pigs, to lay down land with English grasses, and, instead of wearing out the land by constant cropping, to fix themselves to the soil by adopting the system of a rotation of crops. "For some time," said the Waikato Maories, in a letter inserted in the Maori Messenger, "our hearts have been set upon searching out some of the customs of the Europeans, and we have been engaged in this
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until the present time; and we intend to commence this year to follow the customs of the Europeans, as we think we have attained to some knowledge of these customs. The Maori Messenger is constantly urging us to get cattle and sheep, and advising us to turn our attention to farming, as a means by which the Maories may elevate themselves. It was one of the newspapers printed in 1857 that drew our attention to this subject. We are now endeavouring to follow the advice given to us: we have purchased cattle and sheep, and are now turning our attention to farming. Our lands, which were formerly allowed to run to waste, we have now divided into portions, varying from two hundred, five hundred, and up to two thousand acres for each individual. These have been marked off as runs for cattle and sheep, and for growing wheat, potatoes, oats, clover, grass, &c, for disposal to the Europeans, and also for food for our horses. We wish this letter to be printed by the editor of the Maori Messenger, that our European friends may know our thoughts."
Though abundantly supplied with pigs, the Maories eat but little animal food, their diet being chiefly vegetables and fish. Beans and potatoes are largely cultivated by them. Fern-root was their great staple; Indian corn, especially after having been soaked till it has reached a state of pungent putrefaction, is enjoyed by them with the keenest relish. Eels, cockles, snapper, and the mango, or small shark, are the fish of which they consume the greatest quantity. In some parts of the country
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ducks and pigeons are caught in large numbers; and on festive occasions pork is the principal article of solid food. Their mode of cooking is simple, economical, and expeditious; and an abundant meal for a large party can be well cooked in a short time, and with a small expenditure of fuel, in a hangi, or native oven. The signs of a forthcoming meal are never to be mistaken. Several of the women--on hospitable thoughts intent--may be seen briskly engaged in scraping potatoes and carrying them to the nearest brook to be well washed. The village Kuia will then begin to busy herself in clearing out a hole in the ground about two feet in diameter, and a foot deep. In this hole she will then light a wood fire, and place upon it a score of stones about the size of her fist; when they have become thoroughly heated, the fire is raked out of the oven and the hot stones are left at the bottom. Bunches of green leaves, or pieces of well damped matting, are then placed upon the stones, and the potatoes are poured in: to the potatoes are sometimes added pumpkin, taro, hue, kumara, or cabbage, according to the season; and sometimes a string of eels, or some other fish, or a piece of pork. The contents of the oven are then carefully covered with several folds of matting, a little water is poured upon the top, and the whole is completely covered over with a heap of fine earth, so as effectually to confine the steam. On state occasions some of the younger women, while the food is in the oven, will be seen quickly plaiting the leaf of the flax plant into small open baskets: nor have they much
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time to spare for the purpose, for in the course of about half an hour the presiding genius will be dimly seen, enveloped in a cloud of steam, raking the earth from the top of the oven, and carefully removing the layer of matting. When the last mat is removed, there is disclosed to view the huge pile of food, beautifully cooked, hot and steaming; every part of it perfectly well done, without a single speck of dirt to be seen upon it. Thus cooked, the contents of the hangi will be found to be excellent; and, what is not a little curious, however varied may be its contents-- though it contain fish, flesh, fowl, dried shark, and vegetables--neither the flesh will be underdone, nor the vegetables overdone. While the food is being served up in the newly plaited baskets, the company divide themselves into small groups; and a basket of food is then placed by the ladies before each group, who, without the aid of knife or fork, soon empty it of its contents--the women and children commonly taking their meal afterwards, apart.
On occasions of great public interest the Maories assemble in large numbers from distant parts of the country, and preparations are made at great expense to supply the requisite materials for their hospitable entertainment. At a great meeting recently held on the Waikato, at which upwards of two thousand were assembled, the following was the bill of fare: -- 15 bullocks, 20,000 dried sharks, 20 baskets of fresh eels, 100,000 dried eels, 50 baskets of patiki and mataitai, 30 bags of sugar, 8,000 kits of potatoes and kumeras, a large quantity of flour, &c, and last, but
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not least, 1,500 lbs. of tobacco. Chiefs and slaves, young men and maidens, old men and children, all, without exception, have a craving for tobacco; and with old Salvation Yeo would sing this chorus in its praise: --that "when all things were made, none was made better than this to be a lone man's companion, a bachelor's friend, a hungry man's food, a sad man's cordial, a wakeful man's sleep, and a chilly man's fire;" and that "for the staunching of wounds, purging of rheum, and settling of the stomach, there is no herb like unto it under the canopy of heaven."
The general intelligence and independent bearing of the New Zealanders, their scrupulous observance of religious ordinances, their intellectual capacity, and the progress which has been made by them in the rudiments of education, can hardly fail to be remarkable. But because the great majority of the people have received the religion of their Christian teachers, and have learned to read and write, it is assumed that they must at the same time have adopted the habits and usages of civilised life; and, not reflecting on the length of time required, under the most favourable circumstances, for acquiring new tastes and confirmed habits, strangers are commonly disappointed with the amount of improvement which has taken place in their social, personal, and domestic habits, and with the rude condition generally in which they are still content to live. Though gradually acquiring the habits and usages of civilised life, they have as yet, however, made but little improvement in their habitations; and the description
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given, 4 some years ago, of their general mode of living, is still substantially correct: -- "Three hundred days out of the year their food contains little good nourishment; they are badly clad, and worse housed: their habitations are, indeed, miserable huts; their beds are on the ground; the secretion from their skins is checked by filth; and they often sleep in crowded huts in winter to keep each other warm; during which time the air they respire is most unwholesome."
Formerly the dress of both men and women consisted of a mat made of the native flax, manufactured in various styles: some rough and shaggy; others, again, made of the finest kinds of flax, wrought with the greatest care and ornamented with a handsome variegated border. As the English blanket became known, it gradually succeeded the native mat; and the blanket is now gradually giving way to an English style of dress. Instead of either the mat or the blanket, the men now commonly wear a shirt and trousers; and the women, a long loose roundabout of coloured cotton print. By the men, hats, caps, and shoes too are beginning to be worn. In the way of ornament, a fantastic-looking greenstone image is sometimes worn about the neck: all have their ears bored, and a piece of greenstone, or a shark's tooth, tipped at the thick end with red sealing-wax and suspended by a piece of black ribbon, plays the part of ear-drop. The women do not commonly wear any covering either on the head or feet, but on
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occasions of public mourning they adorn their heads with chaplets of green leaves. A large straw hat is occasionally worn; but an English bonnet does not become the features of a Maori woman. In the native villages of the interior the Maori children are innocent alike of soap and water, and still enjoy the liberty of disporting themselves in puris naturalibus. As may be readily imagined, no great amount of social intercourse has yet been established between the English settlers and the Maories. By some friend of the race, a well-disposed native is occasionally invited to a meal at an English table; and he uniformly conducts himself with studied and scrupulous propriety. But the great majority of the people are still living in a rude uncivilised state: their habitations are small, and for want of chimneys and fire-places, their persons, their garments, and everything belonging to them become perfectly saturated with the pungent odour of wood smoke. Finger forks are still in common use, and they are by no means extravagant in the use of soap. They are advancing, indeed, steadily in the habits and usages of civilised life; but, both by language and by their widely different modes of life, the two races are still entirely kept apart. 5
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An amalgamation of the races has already taken place to a considerable extent; but of regular intermarriages between the English woman and the Maori there are not more than three or four recorded instances. For several years before we assumed the sovereignty of these islands, an irregular species of colonization had been slowly going on. Whaling and sealing parties were established on various parts of the coast; and a considerable trade had for some time been carried on with the natives, by traders from New South Wales. Whale-ships in large numbers frequented the northern ports; and a white population, made up of runaway seamen, escaped convicts, travelling traders, land speculators, and adventurers from the neighbouring colonies, amounting to more than a thousand souls, had settled themselves in various parts of the country before it became subject to our rule. Most of these men, as well as some of the first regular colonists, in the absence of their own countrywomen, formed alliances with women of the Maori race. Docile and easy-tempered, they were found to make patient nurses and obedient household drudges; and, considering
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the character of their mates, were entitled, if not by law, at least by courtesy, to be called their better-half. The total number of the half-caste race in New Zealand has never been correctly ascertained. In the province of Auckland, according to the census of 1857, the number amounted to 500; and this return only shows the number of half-caste children living with and acknowledged by the father, and does not comprise those who are living amongst the natives in the native pas and villages, brought up Maori fashion by the Maori mother. Intellectually, if not morally, they are equal to either parent. Physically, the New Zealand half-caste is a good-looking race, varying in complexion from a dark olive to a fresh English red and white: their prevailing colour being a dark brunette. The Maori women themselves, have, generally speaking, no pretension to good looks; but, with a well-developed figure, a warm complexion, and full red lips, with pearly teeth and raven hair, gentle, mild, and loving eyes, fringed with deep dark lashes, the half-caste girl, without any great regularity of feature, is by no means unattractive. With few exceptions, the half-caste children are utterly uneducated, and are brought up Maori fashion by the native mother. The half-caste girls commonly intermarry with, or become the quasi wives of, settlers in the bush; and as regards food, clothing, and manner of life, they improve their condition by sharing what an Englishwoman would consider the discomforts of his life. Unlike our own countrywomen, under similar circumstances, the half-caste girl is not tormented with vain
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repinings; nor is her temper soured by fretting over the memory of happier days. Conscious of no moral or social degradation, she takes life easy, and in her total isolation from the world finds nothing to complain of. For a man who has given up all hope of retrieving his fortune, or of returning to society, and who is content to spend his days in the obscurity and retirement of a semi-barbarous life, "the world forgetting and by the world forgot" a half-caste girl may be a suitable companion. She is gentle in temper and disposition, has no desire for change, and is contented with her lot. But the grave of all ambition is marriage with an uneducated half-caste girl: and though no legal ties may bind the pair, the result is commonly the same. The man has no spur to ambition in his companion; he becomes attached by her gentleness; finds himself surrounded by a troop of pretty children; and if he should afterwards have the means of returning to society, he has not the inclination: indeed, were it otherwise, his children and their mother are unfitted for the usages of civilized life; and, bound by the ties of nature, he has not now the heart to leave them. Some of the half-caste race, however, have been educated in the native Mission-schools, and a few have been sent to English schools and received an excellent education.
Through the instrumentality of the Christian Missionary, the great majority of the Maori people are now professing Christians, 6 strict observers of the
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Sabbath, and regular communicants. On his first arrival in the country, fifteen years ago, the Bishop of New Zealand was struck with their orderly observance of religious ordinances. In February, 1843, he wrote, "I held my first confirmation, at which 325 natives were confirmed; and a more orderly, and, I hope, impressive ceremony, could not have been conducted in any church in England: the natives coming up in parties to the communion-table, and audibly repeating the answer, 'Ewakoatia ana e ahau' (I do confess). It was a most striking sight to see a church filled with native Christians, ready at my first invitation to obey the ordinances of their religion. On the following Sunday, 300 native communicants assembled at the Lord's table, though the rain was unceasing; and some of them came two days' journey for this purpose." On another occasion "a noble congregation, amounting to at least 1,000, assembled amidst the ruins of the chapel (recently blown down). They came up in the most orderly way, in parties, headed by the native chiefs and teachers, and took their places on the ground with all the regularity of so many companies of soldiers. We were placed under an awning made of tents, but the congregation sat in the sun. The gathering of this body of people, their attentive manner, and the deep sonorous uniformity of their responses, was
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most striking." In all parts of the country large and commodious buildings have been erected by them as places for Christian worship; 7 and in almost every native village, morning and evening, daily, the bell--not unfrequently the barrel of a worn out musket--summons the inhabitants to prayers. They have a considerable acquaintance with the New Testament; and on every occasion, they are ready to cite an authority or to quote a text from Scripture. When the subject was recently mooted amongst them of electing a Maori king, it was from no impatience of British rule, but, on the contrary, because we reigned but did not govern. And "now," said one of them, addressing our countrymen, "ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you." 8 In the case of adult converts, it is probable that their superstitious belief is never wholly eradicated or altogether superseded by the new religion. As a body, however, the Christian natives are powerfully influenced in the conduct of their lives by the power of the Christian
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faith. Twenty years ago, when the Bishop of Australia paid a visit to New Zealand, he expressed his persuasion that the character of the converted natives had been improved by their acquaintance with the truths of the Gospel: that their self-will, rapacity, and sanguinary inclination had been softened, and that their superstitions had given place, in many instances, to a correct apprehension of the spiritual tendencies of the Gospel. 9 And if the modern traveller shall chance to rest at a Mission station on the Sabbath-day, he will witness--to a reflecting mind--one of the most striking sights on earth. He may see a powerful aged chief, no long time ago an unmitigated heathen, cannibal, and savage, forming one of a Sunday school class; sitting, it may be, next to one of his own slave boys, and meekly receiving the catechizing and teaching of a native teacher, in age, rank, and station, far inferior to
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himself. "The grey-haired man and the aged woman," wrote Bishop Broughton, "took their places, to read and undergo examination, among their descendants of the second and third generations. The chief and the slave stood side by side, with the same holy volume in their hands, and exerted their endeavours each to surpass the others in returning proper answers to the questions put to them concerning what they had been reading."
Though native wars have not yet ceased, their character has been changed: and to no other cause than the teaching of the Christian Missionary can the change be ascribed, from the barbarous and revolting usages of their heathen state, to the humane, civilized, and, in many respects, chivalrous manner in which their modern warfare is conducted. "The people of England," some time ago wrote the Rev. R. Maunsell, referring to a native war amongst the Waikato tribes, "methodical and consistent even in anger, can scarcely conceive two large bodies of men meeting fully armed, engaging in a most strenuous struggle--one party in breaking down, the other in defending, a piece of fencing, and both using the most violent language to each other; the bell for evening prayers ringing, and both parties, each in their positions of defence and attack, with their guns lying beside them, joining in worship, while I addressed them from Ephes. iv. 26, and, pointing to the setting sun, urged my text, "Be angry and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath;" then rising up, each dispersing to their respective
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encampments, quietly preparing food for the Lord's-day, and meeting together on the morrow for worship as if nothing had happened." In our various encounters with them, they have certainly fought their battles gallantly, and have seldom had recourse to stratagem or surprise; and, not unfrequently, in victory showing moderation. On the occasion of his attack on Kororarika, Heki not only proclaimed his intention to cut down the flagstaff, but named the day, and publicly made known the plan of the attack. "After the destruction of the settlement," wrote an eye-witness, "the smoke of the town went up like the smoke of a furnace. All that had been devoted to mammon was gone, but heathen vengeance had spared the patrimony of God. The two chapels and the houses of the clergy remained undestroyed." After the termination of the Northern war, Heki, during the short remainder of his life, became a well-disposed subject, and a counsellor of peace. "After I am gone," was reported to have been his dying words to the people of his tribe, "be kind to the Europeans. I shall pass away--the rebellious man--the man who killed the Europeans, Do not break that peace that exists between the Governor and myself; but deal kindly to the Europeans, and let them become your fathers after my decease."
As might be expected, however, with so shrewd a people, the religious divisions amongst ourselves have been found a cause of hindrance. "You Europeans," urged a powerful heathen chief, "are not even agreed amongst yourselves as to what is the true religion.
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The Church missionary teaches us this is the true faith; the Roman Catholic tells us that that is the true faith; while the Wesleyan missionary assures us that the only true road is different from either. When you have agreed amongst yourselves which is the right road, I may perhaps be induced to take it; but until you do, I shall continue to follow in the way of my fathers. "But the greatest obstruction to Christianity in heathen countries, it has been observed, is the palpable and undeniable depravity of Christian nations: the heathen abhor our religion because we are such unhappy specimens of it. They are unable to read our books, but they can read our lives, and they have reason to set down the professing Christian as little better than themselves. Before we colonized New Zealand, we sent missionaries to preach the Gospel to its heathen people. We then went ourselves to exhibit it in practice; and the tree has been judged by its fruit. Already, a habit of intemperance is gaining ground amongst the native people. When we first went amongst them, they had for every kind of intoxicating liquor a positive dislike, and for several years a drunken Maori was never to be seen. But the English settlements are now beset at every turn with licensed grog-shops, and in spite of the most stringent prohibitory law, and of a legion of magistrates to enforce it, the Maories are supplied with the deadly "firewater;" and, like too many of our countrymen, may now too frequently be seen reeling in the streets. And when the heathen Maories see their men
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made drunk, their women debauched, and their chiefs called "bloody Maories," no wonder our religion shall appear to them but little better than the empty profession of a barren creed; nor can it be a matter of surprise if the fervent zeal of the early converts should visibly abate, or that some of them should fall back again upon their heathen faith.
The New Zealanders had no written language; and for several years the only book in the native language was a portion of the New Testament: copies of the Maori translation were, by the natives, eagerly desired and diligently read. But few of the colonists make a study of the Maori language; they are content to pick up a few useful words: the Maori, on the other hand, learn a few English words in common use, and, by means of an extemporised colloquial jargon, eked out by much emphasis and gesticulation, the two races carry on their commercial dealings with each other. Though by no means copious, the language contains a sufficient number of words to be capable of a considerable variety of expression. The alphabet contains but thirteen letters; the letters b, c, d, f, g, l, q, s, v, x, y and z, not being required to convey its several sounds: k is a predominating letter. But though less soft than the languages spoken in some of the northern islands, it is still anything but harsh. With the exception of ng every other letter is a vowel; every word ends with a vowel, and the words are pronounced with the soft Italian sound. Not having s and th in their own language, the Maories find considerable difficulty in acquiring the
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pronunciation of English sounds. Their ancient mythology and traditions are now being gradually lost, and but for the timely exertions of Sir George Grey, Dr. Edward Shortland, and the Rev. Richard Taylor, who have recently collected and published some of their most interesting legends, rhythmical prayers, and ancient songs, these traces of the early history of the Maori race would, in the course of another generation, have been irretrievably lost. The first writings in the Maori language were portions of the New Testament, the Bible, and of our Book of Common Prayer. The translation of the Old Testament has only recently been completed; but the New Zealanders have been in possession of the whole of the New Testament in their own language for a period of upwards of twenty years. The "Pilgrim's Progress," the story of "Peter the Great," "Robinson Crusoe," a volume of Fables, and several elementary school-books, have also been written for them in the Maori language; and a small periodical, Te Karere Maori (The Maori Messenger) 10, printed
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in parallel columns, native and English, and containing information and instruction adapted to their requirements, is published for them twice a month in
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Auckland, under the superintendence of the Government. And with a view to open to them at once the storehouse of knowledge, and at the same time to further the amalgamation of the two races, it has been made a fundamental condition that the English language shall be taught in all native schools, supported, wholly or in part, by a grant from the public fund.
Nearly forty years ago a grammar of the Maori language was published in England by the Church Missionary Society, with the assistance and under the superintendence of Professor Lee. The Rev. Robert Maunsell, by whom the native version of the Bible has recently been corrected and revised, subsequently published a learned work on the grammar of the language; and more recently still, a valuable help
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has been given to the Maori student by Archdeacon William Williams, in his "Dictionary and Concise Grammar of the New Zealand Language." 11
But the most remarkable contribution to Maori literature is a volume of "Poems, Traditions, and Chaunts, of the Maories;" collected and published by Sir George Grey. The object of the work was to show what New Zealand was "before its natives were converted to the Christian faith; and no more fitting means of accomplishing such an object appeared attainable than that of letting the people themselves testify of their former state, by collecting their traditional poetry, and their heathen prayers and incantations, composed and sung for centuries before the light of Christianity had broken upon their country." No one unacquainted with New Zealand can form an estimate of the difficulty of the undertaking. Many of these poems, &c, were put together bit by bit, from mouth to mouth, here a little and there a little; for they are rapidly passing out of memory. In one part of the country the commencement of a poem would be met with; and, not until after a long interval, and perhaps at a distance of some hundred miles, would the remainder be supplied. So ancient and figurative, too, is the language in which some of them are composed, that they are now intelligible only to a few, even among the New Zealanders themselves. "The most favourable times," says the author, "for collecting these poems, and those at which most of them were in the first instance obtained, was at the great
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meetings of the people upon public affairs, when their chiefs and most eloquent orators addressed them. On these occasions, according to the custom of the nation, the most effective speeches were invariably principally made up from recitations of portions of ancient poems. In this way the art of the orator was shown by his selecting a quotation from an ancient poem which figuratively but dimly shadowed forth his intentions and opinions. As he spoke, the people were pleased at the beauty of the poetry and at his knowledge of their ancient poets, whilst their ingenuity was excited to endeavour to detect from his figurative language what were his intentions and designs: quotation after quotation, as they were rapidly and forcibly chanted, made his meaning clearer and clearer; curiosity and attention were by degrees riveted upon the speaker; and, if his sentiments were in unison with the great mass of the assembly, and he was a man of influence, as each succeeding quotation gradually removed the doubts upon the minds of the attentive group who were seated upon the ground around him, murmur of applause rose after murmur of applause, until, at some closing quotation, which left no doubt as to his real meaning, the whole assembly gave way to tumults of delight, and applauded equally the determination which he had formed, his poetic knowledge, and his oratorical art, by which, under images beautiful to them, he had, for so long a time, and at last so perfectly, manifested his real intentions."
The poems, &c, contained in this volume, numerous as they are, extending over upwards of 400 pages,
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are but a portion of the traditional native poetry still lingering in the memories of the people. And when the promised translation shall be given to the world it will be seen how much poetical feeling may co-exist with the most revolting usages of a barbarous life. There are not three people in Great Britain who could attempt to give an intelligible translation of these Maori poems. Considering the time, labour, and expense employed in collecting them and arranging them into metre--the occupation of the author, actively engaged in administering the government of the country during a critical period of its history--and the small measure of appreciation which would be entertained of the nature and value of the undertaking, "NGA MOTEATEA ME NGA MAKIRARA O NGA MAORI" may justly be regarded as one of the curiosities of modern literature.
The greater part of the native traditions are in the form of chants, songs, or poems: and with their modern compositions it is still the same. Amongst the numerous valedictory addresses presented to Governor Grey on his departure from New Zealand, there was scarcely one which did not comprise a poetical Lament composed for the occasion. The figures with which their language abounds are all drawn from the natural objects around them; and their manner of speech, in its most prosaic form, seems to be pervaded with a lofty tone, contrasting strangely with the rude appearance of its authors. The living are sometimes addressed as "My Bird," and the dead as the "Evening Star." The wind and the rain--the hoarfrost and the
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sun--the earthquake and the sea--are among their most frequent figures. A "clear stream and a cloudless sky" will be used to describe a state of peace. "The name and reputation which a Maori acquires by war and bloodshed," said a Christian convert to a heathen brother, "is like the hoarfrost, which disappears as soon as the sun shines upon it; but when a man is bent on seeking the things of Jesus Christ, his name lives for ever." "When you came," said one of their valedictory addresses, "it was like the shock of an earthquake... You came with two lights--the lamp of God and the lamp of the world." "On your arrival," said another, "the rain was beating and the wind blowing fiercely, and then you lifted up your voice to calm the raging elements." "We write to tell you," said another, "that we are being beset by the tribes of New Zealand. The winds of Hauraki, the winds of Maketu, and the winds of Whakatane are sweeping along the coast of Tauranga," meaning the people of Hauraki, &c, were threatening to attack the Tauranga tribes. "With you are the thoughts regarding us during your absence, because we do not know the day the wolves may come and tear the sheep, and some will be scattered." "When the missionaries first came to this land," said the address of the Rotorua chiefs, "there was little industry, and little good was visible; but there was much indolence and much wickedness, and all lived in ignorance. Then God kindled his light, and lo! it became day." And "you have been as one of the Ministers of the Churches, therefore we call you by these
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names: --the Peace maker -- the Honourable -- the Friendly One--the Loving One--the Kind One--the Director--the Protector--the Far-famed One--the Lifter-up--and the Father." Their songs and poems, both ancient and modern, abound, in fact, with poetic imagery: yet the modern New Zealanders are essentially a practical, matter-of-fact people. The story of "Peter the Great," which has been written for them in Maori, is read with avidity; while "Robinson Crusoe" has no charms for them, because it is not true.
The modern style of native oratory is plain, intelligible, straightforward, and to the purpose: it is still, however, occasionally highly figurative, and sometimes so obscurely so as to be intelligible only to a few. All questions of importance are discussed by them in public assembly; the great chiefs taking the leading part. They speak with great animation, walking about from side to side, repeating two or three times each word and sentence as they proceed. When excited, the orator dances about like a tiger in a cage, slapping his tattooed thighs, and brandishing a spear or tomahawk about his head. One of their most interesting meetings was held at Coromandel Harbour, about forty miles from Auckland, when a large body of natives were assembled to consider the course to be pursued by them on the occasion of the discovery of gold on native land. For some time after the discovery became known, scarcely a day elapsed without an arrival at Coromandel Harbour of parties from Auckland, all intent on exploring the neighbourhood. But as yet, no arrangement had been entered into
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with the natives, who began to evince some uneasiness lest the ground should be occupied before any terms had been agreed upon; and, although friendly and well-disposed towards those who were then employed in prosecuting the search, they declared their unwillingness to permit any addition to the number. A serious responsibility also devolved upon the executive authorities. Ought the Government to interfere? how were they to proceed? and when were they to act? were questions all demanding an immediate and prudent decision. The rights of the Crown, the rights of the owners of the soil, the interests of the public in the discovery, and the peace of the country itself, were all involved in the issue. When gold was discovered in the neighbouring colonies, the Australian Government had to deal with an emergency of a novel and difficult character: but in New Zealand the emergency was rendered still more formidable by the fact that the gold was discovered, not, as in the Australian colonies, upon the land of the Crown, but upon that of an armed native race, jealous in the extreme of their territorial rights. By the treaty of Waitangi, the Crown guaranteed to the natives of New Zealand the full, exclusive, and undisturbed possession of their lands and estates, forests, fisheries, and other properties; but by the same treaty, the natives, on the other hand, ceded to the Crown of England all the rights and powers of sovereignty which they had, or which they might be supposed to possess. It would no doubt therefore be held by English lawyers that the Crown, by virtue of her Majesty's sovereignty
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over the islands of New Zealand, was entitled to all gold in its natural place of deposit, though found on the lands of her Majesty's native subjects. But it was at the same time equally certain that the practical assertion of that right would be viewed by the natives of New Zealand as a violation of the terms of the treaty. To obtain for all classes of her Majesty's subjects a participation in the advantages of the discovery, having regard to the rights of the Crown, to the interests of the native owners of the soil, and to the maintenance of friendly relations with them, was the problem which was to be solved; and it was obvious to all that nothing but the united efforts of the Government, the colonists, and the natives, to carry out some well-considered system for the working of the gold-field, would prevent the discovery from proving an unmitigated curse.
The natives themselves now began to take an active interest in the subject; and it was proposed by them that they should meet together for the purpose of considering the measures which it would be expedient to take with reference to the recent discovery. The time having arrived for the meeting of the chiefs, the Lieutenant-Governor proceeded to Coromandel Harbour, and was shortly afterwards followed by the Bishop and the Chief Justice, who had also been invited by the natives to be present. All the parties being assembled, the Lieutenant-Governor opened the business in a short address, informing them that he had come to offer them protection--to concert with them measures for preserving order amongst the num-
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hers who would probably be attracted to the spot by the news of the recent discovery--to listen to their own views upon the subject, and to give any explanation they might require as to the intentions of the Government.
The first person who came forward on the part of the natives, was a venerable-looking old man, Te Taniwha by name, one of the principal chiefs of the Coromandel district. He spoke shortly, but to the point. "O son!" said he (meaning another chief who claimed jointly with himself the Matawai gold field), "let this be our motto: 'It is well--it is well.' These are the tokens of peace--the presence of the Governor, the Bishop, and the Chief Justice. Ye who are here, acknowledge these as your parents. My children, be not sad: it is well--all is well. The messengers of God--of truth--stand here; even the bone of that which is good. The arrangements are left to you, O Governor, the Bishop, and Chief Justice."
Te Taniwha was followed by Hohepa Paraoni, at considerable length, but still to the same point: "We have no wish to conceal the gold, or to let it remain in the earth: this is what we accede to, O Governor; for the gold to be taken, but the land to be left. But Wairau is the only place we will at present give up to be worked; but when we see that this works well, we will give up other places.".. "If the Governor is pleased with these thoughts, we will give up the gold to be worked: the owners of the land, however, will expect something for the gold." "Yes," chimed
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in Te Taniwha, just waking from a doze, "Yes, let the gold be dug."
The presence of that aged chief, the last of his race who could tell the tale of the white man's first arrival in New Zealand--his venerable appearance, and the occasion itself, gave to the meeting an unusual interest. Though bowed down and enfeebled by age, the old man still retained the possession of his faculties, and in a remarkable degree possessed that bold outline of head and face which formerly distinguished the chieftains of the country. There stood the last living link between the "past and present" of New Zealand: one who, in time long past, had himself stood face to face with England's honoured navigator, and who then still lived to tell of Captain Cook's first visit to New Zealand; how the natives all thought that his ship was a large kind of whale, and that the men on board were gods; how for some time he, Te Taniwha himself, then but a little boy, was afraid to go on board; how Captain Cook spoke little--less than the others --but took more notice of the children, patting them kindly on the head, and how he gave them the first potatoes they had seen-- "And soothed with gifts, and greeted with a smile The simple native of the new-found isle."
And now this venerable chief, as the crowning act of a long, eventful life, and confiding in the justice of the British Crown, came forward to welcome the Queen's vicegerent to the new-found fields of gold. When the first specimens were shown him of the gold discovered on his land, he said he should now be content to die:
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that he had lived many days, but that this was the brightest of them all. He did not seem to value the consideration of the gain it would be to him, so much as the thought that his land, the land of his ancestors, should be the first to produce gold. Glancing at the time-honoured peak of Motou Tene, and turning to the setting sun, he appeared to commune with the generation he had outlived. 12
More recently, a large meeting was held on the banks of the Waikato, to consider the propriety of electing a Maori king. At this meeting upwards of two thousand natives were assembled; and the speeches on the occasion afford a fair specimen of the native
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style of oratory. The assembled multitude was divided into two parties, the Ngatihaua, who wished to make Te Whero-whero (Potatau) king; and the Conservative party, who were staunch in their allegiance to the Queen. The movement party, however, were actuated by no feeling of disaffection to British rule: they found that in questions relating to themselves the Colonial Government were virtually powerless; that the power of the chiefs was fast decaying; they had become convinced of the value of peace, order, and good government; and they believed they might secure it by electing for themselves a king. Te Heu-heu, the Chief of Taupo, was the only speaker who expressed himself impatient of our rule; indignantly recapitulating the grievances of his race--the indignities shown to their countrymen when visiting our towns--their women debauched--the men made drunk -- and the chiefs themselves dubbed "bloody Maories." The Conservative party hoisted the Union Jack; the would-be king-makers rallying round a flag with the new device, Potatau, King of New Zealand. Paora was one of the first to speak in favour of the movement:--
"Paora: God is good; Israel were his people; they had a king. I see no reason why any nation should not have a king if they wish for one. The Gospel does not say that we are not to have a king. It says, 'Honour the king; love the brotherhood.' Why should the Queen be angry? We shall be in alliance with her, and friendship will be preserved. The Governor does not stop murders and fights among
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us. A king will be able to do that. Let us have order, so that we may grow as the pakehas grow. Why should we disappear from the country? New Zealand is ours: I love it."
This speech was answered by William Nayler, a chief of Whangaroa; in the old fighting - days, a warrior of renown: --
"Wiremu Te Awaitaia: I am a small man, and a fool. I am ignorant of these Scripture quotations. Ngatihaua, don't be dark; Waikato, listen; Taupo, attend. My name has been heard in the old day, and sometimes it is still mentioned. I am going to speak mildly, like a father. My word is this: I promised the first Governor, when he came to see me, and I promised all the rest, that I would stick to him, and be a subject of the Queen. I intend to keep my promise, for they have kept theirs. They have taken no land. Mine was the desire to sell, and they gave me money. Why do you bring that new flag here? There is trouble in it. I can't see my way clear. But I know that there is trouble in that flag. I am content with the old one. It is seen all over the world, and belongs to me. I get some of its honour. What honour can I get from your flag? It is like a fountain without water. Don't trouble me. You say we are slaves. If acknowledging that flag makes me a slave, I am a slave. Let me alone. Don't bring your trouble here. Go back to the mountains. Let us alone in peace. I and the Governor will take our own course. That's all."
This renowned chief's address had so powerful an
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effect on its hearers, that a long silence followed its delivery.
"Wiremu Tamihana Tarapipipi: I am sorry my father has spoken so strongly. He has killed me. I love New Zealand. I want order and laws. The king could give us these better than the Governor; for the Governor has never done anything except when a pakeha was killed: he lets us kill each other and fight. A king would stop these evils. However, if you don't like the king, pull down the flag. Let Rewi pull it down, if you wish it."
"Waata Kukutahi: Let the flag stand; but wash out the writing on it. Let us not talk like children; but find out some real good for ourselves. We cannot do it by ourselves. The white men have the money --the knowledge--everything. I shall remain a subject of the Queen, and look up to this flag (the Jack) as my flag for ever and ever and ever. If it is dishonoured, I shall be; if it is honoured, so shall I be. I accept fully the arrangement made between the Governor and Potatau--Laws, a Director, and the Assembly. I don't want to talk, for my mind is made up. I shall begin to work on the basis of that agreement. You may go on talking; and when you have done we will let you join us. For if you follow your road you will be benighted, get in a swamp, and either stick there or come out covered with mud."
The speech of Te Whero-whero (Potatau), who was proposed to be elected as the king, may be taken as a fair specimen of their figurative style. The great Waikato chief had always been one of our most
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staunch allies; and this movement to make him king placed him in a somewhat difficult position. He neither wished to appear disaffected to the Crown, nor yet to offend the Ngatihaua and their friends, who had paid him the compliment of proposing him for a king. Old as he was, his sagacity did not fail him, and his speech on the occasion was thought worthy of his fame:--
"Potatau: Wash me, my friends, I am covered with mud. Love Gospel and friendship. Ngatihaua, work, continue to work. The kotuku sits upon a stump, and eats the small fish; when he sees one, he stoops down and catches it, lifts up his head, and swallows it. This is his constant work. William, you understand your work. When the sun shines we see him."
The race of the great chiefs--weighty in council, and warriors of renown--has almost disappeared; and the opportunities of earning distinction are now so few and far between, that there is no reason to believe that their places will be taken by the rising generation. Like our own peerage, chieftainship is hereditary amongst them, and the order is recruited from time to time by the addition of new blood: a plebeian, if he be distinguished for wisdom in council, eloquence in debate, or bravery in war, may rise to the rank of a chief. On the other hand, an hereditary chief is of small importance if he lack the qualities naturally calculated to command. But the influence both of chief and priest, once all powerful, is rapidly decaying: neither the new religion nor the
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new Government yet exercises the same degree of influence on the people; and in their present transition state the Maories are governed with more difficulty than when under the absolute control of a powerful heathen chief. Amongst the few chiefs of note still remaining, Thomas Walker Nene, or Tamati Waka as he is commonly called, is the most distinguished, and will always deserve honourable mention in connection with the early history of New Zealand. Nene has all his life been distinguished for daring personal courage; for his frequent and vigorous efforts to repress native wars, and to punish the barbarous outrages of his countrymen; and for his steady adherence to the British cause. It was through Nene's influence that Maketu, the murderer, was delivered up to justice; and he was not only mainly instrumental in obtaining the concurrence of the chiefs to the Treaty of Waitangi, but afterwards, by means of his personal influence with the natives, and by his conduct in the field, he rendered important services to the cause of peace and order on the occasion of Heki's rebellion in the North. It is hardly too much to say, indeed, that but for Nene's influence we should not have obtained the sovereignty of New Zealand by the voluntary cession of its chiefs; and that but for his powerful co-operation in the field, we should, for a time at least, have been hardly able to maintain it. It was fitting, not only that Nene's eminent services should receive some substantial recognition, but that some memorial should be preserved of his devotion to our cause; and so long as
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the Colonial Statute Book shall exist, it will be found recorded that, in consideration of the valuable services rendered by him, and particularly for the zeal, courage, and loyalty displayed by him during the rebellion in the north, an annuity of £100 was granted to Nene for the term of his natural life.
As may be imagined, the grave deliberation which characterises our judicial proceedings appeared to the Maories in striking contrast with their own summary practice of punishing offenders; but they are still on some points unable to appreciate the wisdom of our procedure. They make no objection, for instance, to Trial by Jury; but they are surprised to see the way in which the system is carried into practice. In cases of life and death, or in trials of grave importance, they expect to see gentlemen and men of education in the jury-box; and they are not a little astonished to find the jury composed, for the most part, of "drivers of carts," as they designate them, and men they see daily in the streets engaged in menial occupations--a class for whom they have not the slightest respect. The first case of Trial by Jury in New Zealand created on the native mind a deep impression. The Court House in Auckland is by no means an imposing structure, but it is not without some historical interest. In this unpretending building the advent of a new power in these islands was solemnly proclaimed. For a period of several years lawlessness had reigned supreme: every man had been a law unto himself, and the law of the strongest had prevailed; but the time had now arrived when
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the reign of justice was to be formally proclaimed: and, in this modest temple, its first and chief minister, for the first time, took his seat--a fit personification of its purity: one well chosen to hold the balance even, and pre-eminently fitted to administer justice impartially between the native people and a still more powerful race. Seeing the responsibility we incurred in undertaking the government of an ignorant people who confidingly entrusted their rights and liberties to our honourable keeping, it is hardly too much to say that, of the numerous public servants holding office throughout the dominions of the Crown, no one, in his age and generation, was more emphatically "the right man in the right place," than was the first Chief Justice of New Zealand. Trusted with all the powers of several Courts at Westminster, William Martin, its first Chief Justice, on the 28th of February, 1842, opened the proceedings of the Court. There was no display of pomp, or show of military power, yet the first act of the new tribunal spoke, trumpet-tongued throughout the land; and it was silently felt, by both races of its inhabitants, that a power had been established amongst them to which, henceforward, all would be compelled to bow. 13
Amongst the prisoners to be tried at the first sitting of the Court, was a young native chief, highly connected with a powerful northern tribe, in custody on a charge of murdering the widow of a settler at the Bay of Islands, her two children, a servant man,
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and a half-caste child. The man had given some provocation to the young chief; but the murder of the widow and the children was without provocation or excuse. Against the will of his tribe, the murderer could not have been taken; but knowing him to have been the author of the guilty deed, and having been parties to the Treaty of Waitangi, ceding to us the sovereignty over their country, they delivered up Maketu to be dealt with in accordance with our laws. Amongst the prisoners for trial at the same assize, there was also an Englishman, of a rank in life above the labouring class, in custody on a charge of shooting at a native. Irritated by his trespassing, the Englishman, with deliberate aim, had fired at the native with a loaded gun; but, as it happened, without doing him any actual injury. The case of the Englishman was purposely taken first. He was indicted for shooting at the native with intent to do him some grievous bodily harm. The charge was clearly sustained by the evidence, and the Englishman, having been fairly convicted by a jury of his countrymen, was condemned to a period of imprisonment in the common gaol. The case of the young Nga Puhi chief was then taken. It was the first case of life and death that had been tried in these islands according to English law; and the Court, as may be supposed, was densely thronged by a crowd of anxious spectators of both races. Of the prisoner's guilt the natives themselves had never entertained the slightest doubt; under these circumstances particularly, the deliberate carefulness with
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which our judicial proceedings were conducted, struck them with undisguised surprise. One of the most competent residents in the country was selected for his knowledge of the native language, to act as interpreter, and counsel was assigned by the Court to conduct the prisoner's defence. The quiet calmness with which the inquiry was conducted; the patient painstaking care of the Chief Justice; the grave attention of the Jury; the solemn stillness of the awful moment which immediately preceded their utterance of the prisoner's doom; and the dread language of the Law, in which the prisoner was afterwards condemned to die, affected the anxious multitude with visible emotion. At that time the military force in New Zealand hardly numbered eighty men; the colonists were but a small minority, weakened too by being divided into several isolated settlements incapable of affording each other the slightest mutual support; and, by a combined movement of the natives, the whole of the English settlers then resident in these islands might have been swept away at a single blow.
Although his own connections in the north had delivered up Maketu for trial, there were several powerful tribes in other parts of the country who had always refused to become parties to the Treaty of Waitangi, or to acknowledge the sovereign authority of the Queen, and who were unwilling to see one of their own race subjected to the law of a foreign power. Immediately the result of the trial became known, frequent consultations were held by them as
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to the means to be taken to prevent his execution; and more than one threatening message was sent to the Governor of the colony, to deter him from allowing the prisoner being put to an ignominious death. But Captain Hobson, who, while in the hands of pirates, with the rope about his neck, had dared death rather than betray his trust, was not the man to be deterred by fears of personal danger to himself from the discharge of a public duty. Seeing that the prisoner had been deliberately condemned, and believing the condemnation to be just, Governor Hobson allowed the law to take its course; and Maketu was the first of his race to afford an example of its sovereign power. Occurring together, as they did, at the first sitting of the Supreme Court, these two cases were well calculated to satisfy the people of both races that our English Law--the law to which they were all henceforward to be subject--was to be no respecter of persons: that, without respect to rank, all were alike to be amenable to its power; and that, without distinction of race, all were alike to be the objects of its care.
Yet the murderer nearly escaped the hands of justice. In the first instance, he had been apprehended on suspicion, but he was liberated again, owing to the threats of the natives: he was not finally secured until he was given up by his own father; who was induced to take this step to save him from being killed on the spot by the native relatives of the murdered half-caste child. If the half-caste grandchild of Rewa, a powerful northern chief, had not been
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amongst the victims, the murderer of the widow and her children would probably have escaped unpunished. After his conviction, Maketu nearly succeeded in anticipating the sentence of the law. Shortly before his execution, he was detected plaiting the strips of a shirt into a rope, with which he intended to hang himself from the bars of his cell. During his confinement he employed himself in writing letters to his friends, urging them to fall upon the settlers, to murder the Governor secretly, and by a sudden movement to annihilate the few troops then stationed in the colony. But the natives who were present acknowledged the impartiality of his trial and the justice of his sentence; and when the Chief Justice, some time afterwards, visited the Bay of Islands, the first to meet him on landing with a friendly greeting was Ruhe, the father of Maketu.
The intellectual capacity of the New Zealanders, up to a certain point, at least, is quite equal to our own. A considerable number of native children have for some years been receiving a religious education, industrial training, and instruction in the English language, and have been boarded, lodged, and clothed in schools receiving aid from the public funds; and two of the race have already been admitted into deacon's orders, as ministers of the Church of England, by the Bishop of New Zealand. The Report made of the native schools by the Government Inspectors shows the capability of the native children generally for moral, intellectual, and industrial training. Of the children at Taupiri school, they report,
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that "the boys, according to their strength, are employed in the out-door work of the establishment; that the girls are trained in the usual household work of the school and the mission-family--washing and getting-up linen, &c.; and are instructed in sewing and knitting... That the knowledge of the children as to religion is very sound, and, considering their ages, very extensive; that the elder children read the Scriptures in English with great accuracy, and understand the meaning of what they read; and that they write remarkably well, and know the multiplication table very correctly; also the elementary rules of arithmetic, both as applied to simple numbers and to money... That they sing remarkably well in parts, and form a good choir at the native Church attached to the Mission Station." Of the school at Kohunga, the inspectors report, that "six of the boys have acquired a knowledge of ploughing, and that they all take part in the cultivation of the land, and in the care of the sheep and cattle:... that the children, according to their ages, have an intelligent knowledge of geography." Of St. Stephen's native girls' school at Auckland, they conclude their report by remarking, that "no contrast can be more striking or more pleasing than the appearance of these young women, as compared with that of the girls in a native village; and one main object of this institution, that of educating and elevating in the social scale a class of young women who may become suitable wives for native teachers under training elsewhere, appears likely to be realised." Of the children at the Three
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Kings' school, the inspector observes, that "some of the boys have made great progress in carpentry;.. that the examination of the children in scriptural knowledge was highly satisfactory;... that many of the pupils exhibited a great readiness in performing all the operations of arithmetic, and were all able to calculate mentally with rapidity and correctness; and that several showed a clear comprehension of the principles of fractional arithmetic... That the writing of the elder boys was, without exception, good, and in many cases excellent." And, speaking of St. Stephen's Girls' School, a competent observer remarks, --"The girls are, of course, not very much advanced in book learning. All can read and write their own language, and a good number can read easy English books pretty well.... A geography lesson is always popular.... It is surprising how quickly natives, both young and old, learn to write. They are also very ready with their needles.... There was an odd fancy in the country that the natives had no ear for music; but this is quite disproved by facts. The girls are taught by figures instead of notes, which are drawn upon a large black board. They read quite easily even difficult music, such as Mendelssohn's choruses, Gregorian chants, and some of our old intricate catches and glees."
Owing to the ignorance which has generally prevailed in England of the value of their labour, and of the extent to which the native population are engaged in industrial pursuits, the importance of these islands
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as a dependency of the Crown is commonly estimated with reference only to the number of the English settlers, without taking into account their native inhabitants; who, instead of being occupied as formerly in a state of constant and destructive warfare, are now peaceable and industrious, and occupied in various departments of productive industry: acquiring property to a considerable amount, the owners of the greater portion of the soil, the principal producers of the wheat grown within the province, and large and increasing consumers of British manufactures.
In seasons of harvest, the English settlers are largely dependent upon the labour of the natives for mowing, hay-making, reaping, threshing, &c.; and experience has proved them to be capable not only of acquiring skill in various descriptions of handicraft work, but, under judicious superintendence, of steady application to laborious pursuits. During the disturbance in the south, native labour was chiefly made use of in the construction of the military roads; and about three hundred natives were engaged upon the work. In the course of a year they earned upwards of 3,020l., and felled about twenty miles in length by 120 feet in width of dense forest; constructed seven miles of bridle-road, chiefly cut out of the side of steep hills and precipices, and helped to construct six miles of carriage-road; taking part in every operation, such as bridge-making, sloping, draining, metalling, &c.
"This amount of labour," reported Col. Russell, "may not equal that which the same number of expert European workmen would have accomplished; but I
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consider it exceeds what the same number of soldiers would have performed in the time, while the wages paid to the natives have been little more than half those of European workmen....
"As they have thus been employed for a year, frequently many miles from their supplies, and (as in the Horokiwi valley) where the climate, from its constant cold and dampness, has been very distasteful to them, I think it will appear that the opinion, so general here last year, that the natives were incapable of steady industry, though said to have been derived from experience, was fallacious. Indeed, this has become so evident to themselves, that the settlers are already outbidding the Government, by giving higher wages, food, &c.; and are even carrying out contracts by native labour."
The amount of property now possessed by the New Zealanders is certainly remarkable. The Bay of Plenty and the Taupo and Rotorua districts have a native population estimated to amount to above 8,000. In the year 1857, the natives of these districts alone had upwards of 3,000 acres of land in wheat, 3,000 acres in potatoes, nearly 2,000 acres in maize, and upwards of 1,000 acres planted with kumeras. They owned nearly 1,000 horses, 200 head of cattle and 5,000 pigs, four water-mills, and 96 ploughs. They were also the owners of 43 small coasting vessels, averaging nearly 20 tons each, 14 and upwards of 900 canoes. In the course of the same year, the natives of the
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east coast (a tract of country extending from the East Cape to Turanga--about fifty miles) supplied 46,000 bushels of wheat to the English traders, of the marketable value of 13,000l. From a distance of nearly a hundred miles, the natives of the North supply the markets of Auckland with the produce of their industry; brought partly by land carriage, partly by small coasting craft, and partly by canoes. In the course of a single year, 1,792 canoes entered the harbour of Auckland, bringing to market by this means alone 200 tons of potatoes, 1,400 baskets of onions, 1,700 baskets of maize, 1,200 baskets of peaches, 1 200 tons of firewood, 45 tons of fish, and 1,300 pigs, besides flax, poultry, kauri gum, and vegetables.
Although not twenty years have yet elapsed since the colonization of the country was first commenced, yet the modern traveller now arriving in New Zealand-- seeing the neighbourhood of its capital cultivated like an English landscape; the Colonists living in the midst of peace and plenty; the natives supplying the markets with the produce of their industry; the two races dwelling together in uninterrupted harmony; English laws regularly administered; order prevailing and Christian teaching willingly received--can with difficulty now imagine that so bright a "morning" was preceded, and that so recently, by so long and dark a "night;" and can hardly realise the difficulties, the anxieties, and the grave responsibilities of its early founders. But to appreciate fully the contrast between the "past and present" of New Zealand, it is not sufficient to call to mind a vague impression that these
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islands, on account of the savage character of their people, were once so dreaded by the mariner that nothing but necessity could induce him to land upon their shores. A yet nearer view of their condition must be presented to the mind. Go back but twenty years; not to witness a picture drawn from imagination, but to view a stern reality. The conflict ended, traverse a native field of battle. Take, for instance, the scene
at R-------: time, 1836. The bodies of fallen men, weltering in their blood, are here and there strewn about the ground. Here "a number of bodies are laid out, previously to their being cut up for the oven:" whichever way you look, "some sight of horror salutes you." By and by, a body, apparently that moment killed, is dragged into the camp. "The head is cut off, almost before you can look round; the breast is opened, and the heart, steaming with warmth, pulled out and carried off." At every turn you are exposed to the most revolting scenes: "Halves of bodies, quarters, legs and heads, are carried away; and some of them are purposely thrust into your face." You now visit the spot where the opposite party is encamped, and where "for two days after the battle they remained to gorge on sixty human bodies." "Bones of all kinds, the remains of their cannibal feast, are spread about in all directions." "Two long lines of native ovens mark the spot where the bodies were cooked; and a smaller oven, with a wreath around its edge and two pointed sticks by the side, on the one of which was a potato and on the other a lock of hair, points out the place where they set apart a portion
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of their horrid meal for the Evil Spirit." Retired somewhat apart is a little child, "nursing in his lap, as if a plaything, one of the slain chiefs hands."
Such were the frightful scenes to be witnessed in these islands but twenty years ago. Standing in the midst of them, the appalled spectator might hardly have been persuaded, though one rose from the dead to assure him of the fact, that he himself should live to witness, within less than twenty years, native children of New Zealand, neatly clad in English dresses, assembled for Christian worship on the Sabbath day, chanting the "Magnificat" and the "Nunc Dimittis" and singing, in English, the "Evening Hymn" in a manner to put to shame many an English congregation. With the battle-field of R------- fresh painted on its pages, what author of romance would venture to represent the actors in these scenes, after so brief an interval, assembled together at a meeting to promote the spread of Christianity among the heathen people of the neighbouring islands--gratefully acknowledging the benefits they had received from their own Christian teachers -- quoting from Scripture the command to "Go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature"--animating each other to speed the Christian work, and contributing, according to their means, in aid of the newly-founded "Melanesian Mission." If made the subject of romance, a contrast so striking would be deemed to outrage probability.
To have foretold, too, not twenty years ago, that New Zealand--the terror of navigators, the scene
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of war, rapine, and cannibalism, the very by-word of barbarism -- might now be traversed throughout its length and breadth in fearless security by a solitary, unarmed traveller, would in itself have been a bold assertion. But it would have taxed the faith of the most sanguine to believe that nothing should now surprise the traveller more than to find, wherever two or three are gathered together, the close or dawn of a single day unmarked by the sound of prayer or praise: yet such is the record of the modern traveller.
Of the future power and greatness of New Zealand, no question can be made; but the ultimate fate of its native race can be, as yet, but doubtfully foreseen. Even the difficulty of governing the two races, on equal terms, as one united people, has hardly yet been solved. 15 To confer upon the colonists the exclusive power of legislating for the colony at large, as the New Zealand Constitution has practically done, is not to give the people of New Zealand the power of self-government, but is, in reality, to confer upon the European minority the power, not only of governing themselves, but the whole of her Majesty's subjects in the country. Theoretically, indeed, the natives are not only eligible to be registered as electors, but to be elected also to the office of superintendent and as members of the Colonial Parliament; but, practically, they are as entirely unrepresented as if they had been expressly excluded: and even when they commence to exercise their political pri-
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vileges, it will probably be but as the tools, and exposed to the arts, of the electioneering agents. In justice, then, to the native race, who surrendered themselves to the government of her Majesty, the Crown can hardly yet abandon any of the powers it originally possessed for promoting their advancement; and we should but ill discharge our obligation towards them, by simply conferring upon them political powers which they do not desire to possess, and thus attempt to get rid of our own responsibility by conferring upon them the theoretical, but illusory power of representative self-government. Seeing, then, that as a body they are at present unprepared to exercise the elective franchise, either with advantage to themselves or to the country at large; that they would be impatient of the dominion of the colonizing race; but that they are willing still to be governed directly by the Crown, Great Britain would, probably, best discharge the responsibility she has undertaken towards the native people of New Zealand by carefully and gradually admitting them to a participation in the exercise of political power: retaining, in the meantime, to the Crown such a reasonable amount of the public funds, and such a degree of influence in the Colonial Legislature, as may enable her Majesty's representative, without partiality or making any invidious distinction in their favour, to protect their interests--to render effectual aid in the work of their civilization, and to promote the measures which may be needed for their gradual advancement in the scale of social life.
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Of the influence which Christianity has exercised upon the character and conduct of the natives, no more sound and sober judgment can now be formed than was expressed by a competent observer nearly fifteen years ago. "There are two distinct points from which the character of the New Zealanders must be viewed. One is through the medium of their former cruel, savage, warlike, blood-thirsty disposition; contrasted with their present softened, teachable, quiet, and industrious state of mind. In this point of view, the conduct of the New Zealanders is, indeed, a matter of astonishment and pride. On the other hand, if you compare their lives and general conduct with the lofty standard and discipline which the Saviour raised for His people, there are many blemishes and deficiencies which cause us to mourn and pray. Hence it comes that conflicting, or even contradictory, accounts are presented to the public at home concerning the New Zealand Mission. One individual looks on the natives from this point, and complains of inconsistencies and defects; another sees them from another point, and exults and rejoices. But to me, it appears that the proper way of estimating the success of the Mission, is to bring both points together, and thence take our view: that is, to remember the savage state of these people a few years ago, to regard their position at the present day, and to compare their existing infancy to a perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Thus we obtain a fair picture of His Church in
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these interesting islands: a "church in which we rejoice--but with trembling." 16
But the great problem involved in the Colonization of these islands--how may their native people maintain their ground, and be preserved to form a Christian nation?--continues to be a problem still; and all our boasted civilization has done little towards its satisfactory solution. Cannibalism, it is true, has become extinct; the profession of Christianity, too, has become almost universal; infanticide is seldom heard of; and a considerable improvement has taken place in the food and clothing of the people: but these advantages appear to be all outweighed by the closer contact with "abused civility;" and what was said by Bishop Broughton, twenty years ago, may with truth be stated now: "In mournful sincerity of heart I express my own opinion, that their numbers have diminished in a fearful ratio since our first connection with them. It presented itself to my mind as a most remarkable circumstance, that wherever we went, the children were very few as compared with the number of adults." And so far as our experience in New Zealand has yet extended, the great problem--how may a barbarous people be preserved to form a Christian nation? -- still, as before, remains for a solution.
In other regions of the world, England has by conquest extended largely the bounds of her dominions --the result of many a brilliant victory. But what is won by the sword, and that which is held by
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the sword, by the sword may also perish. In New Zealand the issue still is pending, and the victory yet unwon. But if it shall be given to the founders of this Colony to be also the instruments of preserving a barbarous native race, and of raising them in the scale of civilization to a level with themselves, then, crowned with these unwonted blessings, the first fruits of a coming age, the Colonization of these islands will be one of the noblest conquests in the annals of our history; and New Zealand, already the cradle of civilization and the day-spring of light to the heathen people of the Southern Seas, will be, indeed, the brightest ornament in the borders of our empire.