1847 - Angas, G. F. Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand [Vol I.] - CHAPTER IX: GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE NATIVES OF NEW ZEALAND.

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  1847 - Angas, G. F. Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand [Vol I.] - CHAPTER IX: GENERAL REMARKS UPON THE NATIVES OF NEW ZEALAND.
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THE people of New Zealand belong to one of two great and distinct races of the human family inhabiting the vast ocean of the Pacific. The dark-coloured variety, termed the Austral negroes, have a skin approaching in colour to that of the African races, with hair occasionally curly, and in some instances woolly; their skulls are of bad proportions, exhibiting a preponderating development of the occipital region; their language consists of a variety of different tongues and dialects; their social relations are in an inferior condition, and they occupy a very low grade in the human family. To this dark-skinned variety belong the present inhabitants of the whole of New Holland or Australia; the now almost extinct natives of Van Diemen's Land; those of New Guinea, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Santa Cruz, New Britain, New Ireland, Salomon

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Isles, Loyalty Island, and the entire population of the Figi group. In some of the eastern islands this race appears to have been the original possessors of the soil; but they were either driven into the interior, or exterminated by the superior races of Malayan origin, who landed and settled upon the coasts: and it is a remarkable fact that, at the present time, there are to be found, inhabiting the interior of several of those islands, tribes exactly resembling the savages of Australia in habits, customs, dialect, and physical appearance.

The light-coloured race of the Pacific--the one to which the people of New Zealand undoubtedly belong -- have a skin of a light copper colour, in some instances no darker than that of the inhabitants of the south of Europe, with regular and pleasing features. Their language appears to be derived from one common root; though this race extends over the islands of the Pacific for a distance of six thousand miles -- from the Sandwich Islanders of the north-east, to those of New Zealand at the south-western extremity of that great ocean. The nations comprehended under this race have superior faculties, both moral and physical; and with some of them a form of government, and domestic and social regulations have attained to a very advanced state. Under the head of this second great division may be classed, the inhabitants of the following groups: --The Marquesas; the Sandwich Islands; the Society Islands, including Tahiti; the Naviga-

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tors; the Friendly, or Tonga Islands; Mangia, Savage Island, Easter Island, Rotorua, New Zealand, and the Chatham Islands; also, the Kingsmills, the Radak and Ralik chain, the Carolines, Mariannes, Ladrones, Pelew Islands, and the various groups to the northwards.

It has been frequently stated (though perhaps without good grounds of conjecture) that the present inhabitants of New Zealand have sprung from two distinct races: the one, a darker and inferior variety, who were the former inhabitants of the country; and a later race, superior in intelligence and physical character, who, on arriving at the islands, amalgamated with the aborigines.

The early history of the New Zealanders is shrouded in doubt and obscurity; yet sufficient may be gathered from their native traditions--taken in combination with their similarity in arts, language, and physical appearance, to other inhabitants of the Pacific--to enable us to trace their origin with some considerable degree of certainty.

All their native traditions tell us that they came from the eastward; that their ancestors, in three canoes (all of which had names, and contained the progenitors of the most celebrated tribes) came from a distant land, and after a long voyage reached New Zealand: where they found no inhabitants, and a country covered with dense forest. Tradition further tells us that they came from the island of Hawaiki (which lies eastward), bringing with them

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taro and dogs. The kumera, or sweet potato (convolvulus battata), which is indigenous to Mexico and the Sandwich Islands, also came from the eastward. It was brought, according to tradition, from the island of Tawai, by E Pani and E Tika, who arrived subsequently to the three canoes; and who, although strangers to the New Zealanders, resembled them in colour and language: a resemblance perfectly in accordance with that of the Sandwich Islanders at the present day. We easily recognise in the names Hawaiki and Tawai, those of two of the Sandwich Islands, Hawaii and Tauai: there being more consonants used in the New Zealand language, Hawaii would become Hawaiki in the dialect of these latter people. Maui, or Mawi, is the most distinguished person in the mythology of the Sandwich Islanders; and the New Zealanders describe him as their great ancestor, who drew the island out of the sea by means of a fish-hook. The Tonga Islanders have also a very similar tradition as to the origin of the islands they inhabit, which is probably referable to some geological occurrence; many of the islands of the Pacific being considered of comparatively recent formation. The people of Easter Island--whose ancient inhabitants cut out of the soft volcanic rock huge statues, resembling the grotesque figures carved out of wood by the New Zealanders--more closely resemble the Maories than any other of the islanders of the Pacific: if we may credit the accounts given of them by former navigators. The

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easterly trade-wind that blows within the tropics might easily have carried canoes from the Sandwich Islands to New Zealand; and the inhabitants of Waihu, or Easter Island, may owe their origin to a similar source. At the present day, migrations in the Pacific are very common: canoes containing frequently a dozen or twenty natives have been met with at sea more than a thousand miles from the islands to which they belong; and others, driven by the wind out of sight of land, are frequently carried along at the mercy of the waves, and their crews drifted upon the first shores that may fall in their way. Not long since, the brig Clarence of Sydney fell in with a canoe from the Kingsmills group, containing a number of natives who had been twenty-four days at sea, and knew not in which direction they were drifting.

For my own part, I am strongly inclined to suppose that the original stock of the Sandwich Islanders, and of the New Zealanders--for they are evidently the same race, and of one primitive origin --are descendants of the ancient Mexicans; who either emigrated in their vessels to the Sandwich Islands (which are at a comparatively short distance from the American coast), or were driven thither by the winds, in consequence of getting too far out to sea to be enabled, with their deficient knowledge of navigation, to regain the American continent. These people, though acquainted with the arts and learning of their countrymen, would not, when driven to

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seek subsistence on an island, have either motive or means to practise such arts: their chief object would naturally be to produce food for themselves and their families; and men, however highly civilized, if placed in such a situation, would gradually degenerate into a more rude and primitive state, being engrossed with the pursuit of the means of subsistence.

We can trace in the carvings of the New Zealanders--in their huge tikis or wakapokokos, and in their ornamental houses--a strong analogy to the architectural ornaments of the Mexicans. The Mexicans carved in stone, and so did the people of Easter Island; but what is more likely than that the New Zealanders, retaining only a portion of the arts of their ancestors, finding timber in such abundance, and perhaps not possessing tools suitable to stonework, should have wrought their rude fancies in wood? The kumera, which they say their ancestors brought with them on their arrival in New Zealand, is indigenous to Mexico; and as all the traditions of these people concur in saying that they come from the eastward, strong grounds are afforded for supposing them to be of Mexican origin.

The men of New Zealand are generally tall and muscular; some of the chiefs are above the average height of Europeans, and a few (though instances are not of frequent occurrence) incline to obesity. The women, on the other hand, are rather short in stature, plump, and well made; their hands and feet being frequently small and delicately proportioned.

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Their complexion varies greatly in different individuals: sometimes it is no darker than that of an Italian or a Spaniard, at other times it is considerably deeper in shade. The extent of latitude beneath which the islands of New Zealand are situated, may account for the diversity of colour amongst their inhabitants: the people of Cook's Straits, for instance, in lat. 40 deg., are considerably lighter than those of the Bay of Islands and Hokianga, which are five degrees further to the north. The hair of the New Zealanders generally is remarkably black, glossy, and luxuriant; especially that of the women, who wear it mostly loose and flowing over the shoulders. The hair of the men is often cropped short, but it was the ancient fashion for the chiefs to tie it up in a knot at the crown of the head. Occasionally their hair inclines to a brown colour, and I have seen one or two children in the interior with hair of a flaxen or golden colour, and a girl amongst the Nga ti watua tribe, whose locks were of a beautiful auburn tint; the hair of the men is generally curly, but no approach to a woolly nature is discernible. The eyes of both sexes are almost invariably of a dark hazel, and those of the young people are large and eloquent; but the effect of constantly sitting over the smoke of their fires soon destroys the beauty of their eyes, which in the old people are generally bloodshot and contracted: their eyebrows are regular and well defined, and their eyelashes are strong, but owing to the practice of tangi, combined with the

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effects of the smoke, they are seldom seen to perfection, except in the young people.

The New Zealanders are a more cleanly race than the natives of Australia, and there is not that perceptible odour about them which is so disagreeable in connection with the latter population. Their heads are good and well formed, and frequently approach in shape those of the most intellectual nations of Europe: both animal and intellectual faculties are strongly developed, and the facial angle is large. Their teeth are regular and remain good to a late period of life. In many individuals the nose is aquiline and well shaped, in others, it is flatter, more resembling those of the people of Luzon or Pelew. The mouth is rather larger than with us, and the lips, especially the upper one, are more fully developed. The countenances of some of the chiefs indicate a great degree of mind, and are totally divested of anything approaching the expression of a savage; while the nobleness of their appearance and bearing proclaims at once their superiority over most of the uncivilized races of man. It is only in moments of excitement and passion that their countenances are lighted up with savage ferocity: at other times they display a combination of dignity and mildness which is sure to win the confidence of the stranger.

The women of the better class, such as the daughters of some of the more important chiefs, may lay claim to be considered handsome; they possess a

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gipsy-like style of beauty, which is heightened by a natural modesty and bashfulness. They frequently form matrimonial alliances with Europeans, and the result of these marriages is the finest race of half-castes, perhaps, in the world. The slave-women, on the other hand, are as coarse and unprepossessing as the daughters of the Rangitiras, or chiefs, are pleasing and comely. Both classes, however, soon begin to look old: the result of hard labour in some cases, and in others of early intercourse with the opposite sex, combined with their mode of living, which rapidly destroys their youthful appearance. The New Zealander is, nevertheless, long-lived; many of the chiefs having attained a great age: at the present moment, there is a chief residing at Coromandel harbour who distinctly remembers the visit of Captain Cook to Barrier Island, and several others of the inhabitants recollect events that occurred about the same period.

Throughout the whole of the islands of New Zealand but one language is spoken; only differing slightly in certain districts, where provincialisms occur, similar to those in England: the Taupo people, for instance, at the lakes of the interior, use a prefix unknown to the northern tribes. The Maori language is soft and euphonious, containing but fourteen letters, in which are included all the vowels; its syllables are remarkably liquid, and, if we except the nga, every consonant is separated by one or more vowels. The letter r is frequently pro-

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nounced like d; and, although their alphabet has no s, words commencing with an aspirated h are sounded as if they commenced with the former letter: hongi, for instance, is pronounced shongi.

The language of the Tahitians and that of the Sandwich Islanders have a very close affinity to the Maori tongue; the principal difference consisting in the Tahitians using t for k, and r for l, and also in the omission of consonants at the beginning of words in the language of the Sandwich Islanders. The New Zealand language abounds in prefixes, and the pronunciation of the letters somewhat resembles the Italian.

The following native translation of the Lord's Prayer into the Maori tongue may serve to convey some idea of the language: --

"E to matou matua i te rangi, kia tapu tou ingoa tukua mai tou rangtiratanga.

"Kia meatia tou hiahia ki te wenua me tou hiahia i te rangi.

"Homai ki a matou aienei te matou kai mo tenei ra.

"Murua mo matou o matou hara, me matou hoki e muru ana mo ratou e hara ana ki a matou.

"Kaua matou e kawea atu ki te wakawainga, otiia wakaorangia matou i te kino: Nau hoki te rangatiratanga, me te kaha, me te kororia, ake, ake, ake. Amine."

Infanticide is frequent among the New Zealanders; though the introduction of Christianity by

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the missionaries, and the gradually increasing intercourse they have with Europeans, have done much towards abolishing this shocking custom. Occasionally the doomed infant is buried alive; at other times the head is tightly compressed, which speedily causes death. But, in all such cases, the child is destroyed immediately after birth; maternal affection possessing too strong a hold upon the feelings of the mother after the first or second day. Both parents are almost idolatrously fond of their children; and the father frequently spends a considerable portion of his time in nursing his infant, who nestles in his blanket, and is lulled to rest by some native song corresponding to the nursery-rhymes of more civilized nations.

Many of the Maori names have a significant meaning; which in some instances, like those of the Orientals, is highly poetical and hyperbolical. Most of the individuals who have become converts to Christianity have, on adopting their new religion, taken Scriptural names, bestowed upon them by the missionaries, in addition to their former heathen appellations; but the natives are unable to pronounce many of these baptismal names, until softened down by the addition of vowels and the rejection of certain consonants incompatible with their own euphonious language. David, for instance, becomes Rawide with the New Zealander; Thomas, Tamite; William, Wiremu; Stephen, Tepeni; Solomon, Horomona; and so on.

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The children are cheerful and lively little creatures, full of vivacity and intelligence. They pass their early years almost without restraint, amusing themselves with the various games of the country-such as flying kites, which are formed of leaves; the game of maui; throwing mimic spears made of fern-stalks, and sailing their tiny flax canoes on the rivers, or watching them tossed about by the waves of the sea. These are the most favourite sports of these merry and interesting children.

From an early age sexual intercourse is frequent, but not promiscuous; children of both sexes are often betrothed by their parents, and are thus rendered tapu or sacred to the affianced parties. After marriage, a woman is tapu to her husband, and adultery is often punished with death. Families are usually small in number, though twins frequently occur. This may be accounted for partly by the long period during which the New Zealand women suckle their children; not weaning them, as we do, at an early age. Another cause may be the speedy decay of youth amongst the women; a female loosing her charms before she arrives at the age of thirty.

When a lad grows up to manhood, he is tattooed: a process which is undergone at intervals, the operation being tedious, and attended with the most excruciating pain. The Tohunga, or priest, is most generally the operator in the ceremony of tattooing; he being supposed to excel in the art of carving both on wood and on flesh. The instrument used is

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a little chisel made of bone, which is driven into the skin by blows of a small mallet. The point of the chisel is repeatedly dipped into a mixture of resin and charcoal, which, after the wounds have healed, renders the lines of an indelible blue colour. Great attention is bestowed upon this species of ornament; and in many instances large payments have been made by chiefs to men more than ordinarily skilled in the art of tattooing, that they might ensure the most regular and elaborate workmanship. Amongst the chiefs it would formerly have been considered the greatest possible disgrace not to have been tattooed, or to have only displayed a few lines of the moko upon the countenance. None but slaves were without the spiral carving of the face considered so indispensable to men of birth and courage. Not only are the faces of the men entirely covered with these spiral lines, where the individuals are fully tattooed, but the thighs, posteriors, and occasionally portions of the arms, undergo a similar process. At the present time, however, many of the sons even of influential chiefs--having either adopted the manners of the Europeans or joined the missionary converts-- have dispensed with this peculiar and barbarous disfigurement; which certainly does not add to their appearance, at least in the eyes of a civilized community. Ko Katu, the only son of Rauperaha, is not tattooed, and Josiah Taonui, the son of Taonui the Hokianga chief, told me that he is too much attached to the customs of the Pakeha (stranger)

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ever to disfigure himself with the moko. In some individuals the tattooing may be observed only partly completed; and I have met with several powerful chiefs who, having discontinued this custom on embracing Christianity, appear with one side of their face only, or a portion of their features, decorated according to the original method.

The lips of both sexes are generally dyed blue. It is a reproach to a woman to have red lips; and on arriving at a proper age they are invariably rendered blue. This is done by pricking them all over with a sharp instrument until the blood flows freely; soot or charcoal is then rubbed in, which produces the desired effect.

With the women the tattooing of the face only extends to the lips and chin; but they disfigure their breasts and arms with blue lines, which are the marks of their tangi, or lamentations for their deceased relations. These incisions frequently run in parallel lines, about a couple of inches in length; and are cut with sharp shells, and dyed, in a similar manner to the lines upon the face, with a mixture of carbonized Kauri resin. In a very few instances I have observed women, whose ankles, from the heel upwards, have been tattooed with ornamental spiral lines.

Polygamy amongst the heathen tribes is still customary. Te Heuheu, the principal chief of Taupo, has eight wives; others frequently possess two or three, all of whom live in peaceful submission to

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their lord. Amongst those tribes who have embraced Christianity, this custom is now rarely to be met with; and instances are numerous of chiefs, who formerly boasted of small harems, having, on uniting themselves with the missionary converts, abandoned their surplus wives; reserving one only, as their future partner in life.

The women occupy a far higher position amongst the New Zealanders than they do with the aboriginal tribes of Australia; by whom the sex are degraded and despised to the lowest degree, --a sure mark of the inferior grade of those people in the scale of humanity. Many of the women exercise the greatest influence over their tribes; especially the widows of important chiefs, or aged woman, some of whom are supposed to possess the power of witchcraft and sorcery.

Within the last fifty years--indeed, ever since the first visits of Europeans to the shores of these islands--the moral and social condition and habits of the New Zealanders have been undergoing a great and gradual change. Their native weapons have, to a considerable extent, been thrown aside and fallen into disuse, and muskets of European and American manufacture substituted for them; gunpowder and fire-arms being the chief articles of barter brought to the coast by the vessels trading with the natives for their timber, their pigs, and their flax. Blankets, too, are constantly worn; and have unfortunately, almost superseded the beautiful native garments

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formed of the fibres of the Phormium tenax, or New-Zealand flax. This has hitherto proved to be a change for the worse; for the natives, being able to obtain blankets at a low rate, in exchange for their produce, abandon the manufacture of their indigenous flax, and grow lazy, and consequently vicious. Their health, too, suffers materially from wearing the blankets: these keep their skin in a state of constant irritation, and harbour vermin, and, in wet weather, retain the damp and moisture for a long period; laying the foundation for many diseases, to which the New Zealanders are now becoming subject.

The introduction of potatoes has also wrought a great change in their diet, probably for the worse. Potatoes were introduced by Captain Cook, along with maize, or Indian corn; and these two vegetables form almost the entire food of the natives; those on the coast, or along the banks of the rivers, add fish. They eat their potatoes without salt; and many, who subsist exclusively on them, do not take sufficient exercise to render such a diet wholesome. Fevers, too, are frequent, from the too abundant use of putrid corn; the natives steeping the ears of maize in water for several weeks, to render them soft, until they become perfectly rotten, and give forth a most offensive odour. Their only animal food is pork, which is not eaten constantly.

In the neighbourhood of the settlements, and in fact wherever they can get an opportunity of dis-

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posing of their pigs, but little pork is eaten by the New Zealanders, excepting it is at a feast on some grand occasion; the supplies of food then collected together are astonishing. The improvident natives prepare for a feast for perhaps a year previously, by raising an extra quantity of provisions; and then, owing to the extravagant waste that takes place during the festivity, they submit to be half starved until the succeeding harvest. At one feast of this sort, given by a chief in the neighbourhood of Auckland to all the surrounding tribes, the row of blankets intended as presents to his friends, and the baskets of potatoes and dried fish piled up together, exceeded a mile in length! Thousands of natives were assembled; many of them having come from distances occasionally exceeding two hundred miles; and the war-dance was performed at intervals during the feasting. It was then anticipated that Te Wero-wero, the principal Waikato chief, would, in the following year, give a feast to the tribes, which should exceed, in the quantity of provisions collected together, that of the Auckland chief.

The natives generally have but two meals a day, -- the one in the morning, the other at sunset; these consist usually of potatoes, steamed in a native oven between heated stones, or boiled in a pot: their drink is water, contained in calabashes. The food is served in baskets made of flax, or the long narrow leaves of the tawara {Freycinetia Banksii), plaited so as to resemble coarse matting. These baskets are

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usually made whilst the meal is preparing, and are thrown aside when the repast is over. The new Zealanders are very particular about their food; it being connected with many notions of tapu, which are as absurd as they are amusing: for instance, food must always be consumed in the open air, and never in a sleeping-house; neither may any one eat in a canoe, if it happens to be laid under a tapu, but must wait until they land. No food is permitted to touch the head of a chief; and anything appertaining to food, when mentioned in connection with the head or hair (which is peculiarly sacred), is considered as a curse, and revenged as an insult. A friend of mine, when residing in the north of New Zealand, once told a chief, whilst in conversation with him across the garden fence, that "he had some apples in his plantation nearly as large as that boy's head," pointing to the son of the chief, who stood by. It was too late to recall the unfortunate simile; the chief was highly insulted; and, though my friend assured him of the unintentional cause of the offence given, it was with great difficulty that a reconciliation was brought about again.

In making their nets and fixing weirs for catching fish, the natives are remarkably expert. Eels are greatly sought after in the deep streams of the interior; and crawfish are obtained by diving. Mussels, cockles (pipi), the fish of the haliotis (pawa, ) and a variety of other shell-fish, are used upon the coast as articles of food.

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The kumera, or sweet potato, is extensively cultivated, and is esteemed sacred by the natives, many ceremonies being connected with its planting and propagation. It is chiefly eaten on the arrival of strangers, or upon the occasion of feasts and other ceremonies. The taro, the fern-root (which formerly constituted a considerable portion of food), the pulp of the stem of the tree-fern (korau), the heart of the nikau, or cabbage-palm (areca sapida), and the sweet and luscious bracteae of the tawara, are amongst the vegetable productions which they use for the purposes of food. In some districts they eat the grub of an insect taken out of decayed trees, and much resembling the white caterpillar so greatly esteemed by the Australian natives: the grubs are first roasted over the fire. Pork, as I before stated, is seldom eaten, except on particular occasions: then the pig, after being opened and cleaned, is cooked whole, in a native oven, and surrounded with heated stones: the flesh, when cooked in this manner, is very sweet and palatable.

Before the introduction of blankets by the Europeans, the clothing of the New Zealanders consisted almost exclusively of garments manufactured from the fibres of the Phormium tenax, or native flax. These garments, or mats, as they are generally termed, display great ingenuity and taste in their fabrication: the threads are intertwined longitudinally with others placed crosswise, and every thread is carefully fastened at intervals of about half an

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inch in the finer varieties, and an inch in those of a coarser material. The making of these mats rests entirely with the women; who construct, within their dwellings, a framework composed of upright sticks, before which they will sit for hours, busily employed in sorting and arranging the threads, and passing the time in social gossip.

Both summer and winter dresses are composed of flax: the rougher garments, made of the dried leaves fastened into a fabric of stout fibres, are very warm and impervious to the rain, and give the wearer somewhat the appearance of a thatched haycock. These mats are of various descriptions, many of them being worn by both sexes indiscriminately; but the topuni, or war mat, belongs exclusively to the men, and is only possessed by chiefs, who assume it on all occasions of ceremony or importance. The war-mat consists of a large flax cloak, into which is fastened, with every thread, a portion of dog's hair, assorted into various colours, having the exact appearance of the most beautiful far. The patterns are varied and handsome: they are often of a pure white, bordered with a broad band of black; others are varied with black and brown, or black and white hair, arranged in narrow stripes, so as to resemble the skin of a tiger or a zebra. These war-mats have a shaggy collar, composed of strips of fur about six inches long, which falls over the shoulders. They are highly prized; and their manufacture is a work of considerable labour and time.

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The other garments of skins are the huru huru, and the parawai: the former is frequently worn, especially during the cold season, by the people of Cook's Straits and the districts south of Taupo; it consists merely of a number of ornamental dogs' skins, which, after having been properly prepared, are sown together, and form a winter garment impervious to the weather. The other dress called parawai, is exceedingly scarce; it comes from the Southern Island, and is made of strips of dog's fur, arranged indiscriminately all over a very large mat of the finest flax. These mats were formerly considered handsome presents, and were sent as such by one chief to another; Paratene Maioha, one of the chiefs of the west coast, possesses a robe of this description, which he only wears on particular occasions.

But the most beautiful of all these mats is perhaps the kaitaka, or finest flax garment, wrought of a species of flax cultivated especially for the purpose, the fibres of which almost resemble silk: the whole surface is plain, the ornament being confined entirely to the border, which is, in some instances, a couple of feet in depth, and of the richest character, beautifully worked in vandyke patterns of black, red, and white; the angular character of which resembles the drawings on the tombs of the ancient Mexicans. The kaitaka is now becoming very scarce, the natives being indifferent about bestowing so much labour upon their own manufactures, when they are able to obtain European clothing at a much less cost. The natives

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of East Cape excel in making these elegant and delicate mats; and the women frequently devote a period of two years to the fabrication of a superior kaitaka. The mat most generally worn is the black-string mat, called e koroai: a flax dress thickly ornamented with black strings, or filaments of twisted flax about a foot long; which are dyed by means of hinau, and have a remarkably graceful appearance over the folds of the drapery. Another kind, called e tatara, has fewer black strings, and is adorned with tufts or bosses of scarlet, and other coloured wool, with frequently an ornamental border of the same material. Formerly the natives used the red feathers from the breast of the kaka (Nestor meridionalis), a species of parrot, and also from another bird inhabiting the forest, to decorate these mats; but wool of the gayest colours has long been preferred by them. Blue and scarlet caps, and the variegated "comforters" brought by the traders, find a ready market amongst the women, who pick them to pieces to form the tufted ornaments for their dresses. Frequently the mat is thickly covered with strips of flax leaves rolled up, like tubes, and dyed black at alternate intervals, resembling porcupine's quills; these dangle from the garment, and produce a loud rustling noise, as they jostle together, at every movement of the wearer. These tubes are thus formed: a strip of the flax-leaf is scraped on one side with a sharp mussel-shell, and the epidermis is cut crosswise at intervals, and alternately re-

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moved or permitted to remain; the leaf is then steeped in a decoction of hinau bark, and, on being taken out, those portions from which the epidermis has been removed, exposing the fibre, are dyed of a permanent and glossy black, whilst the parts where the outer covering still remains, having rejected the dye, retain their original yellow colour; the strips are then rolled up, and fastened in at intervals with the fabric of the mat. A garment thus ornamented is called e waikawa, and is much esteemed.

The kakahu is a very large and heavy mat, formed of broad leaves of black and yellow flax alternately, and is perfectly waterproof; the rain running off it as it would from the thatched roof of a house. There is also a commoner sort, made of course flax unprepared, which is usually worn by the slaves, and constitutes their most inferior garment. Besides, there are mats with white strings, called e hima; and others loaded with very slender strings variegated black and white, amongst which are introduced twisted filaments of a black colour, and very thick, like skeins of silk. Before being manufactured into these various garments, the flax is scraped to remove the epidermis, and then beaten upon a flat stone with a pounder somewhat resembling a druggist's pestle, but made of a species of granite.

The New Zealanders, like most savage races capable of civilization, are passionately fond of ornament, and adorn their heads with a variety of fea-

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thers; amongst these the tail feathers of the huia (Neomorpha Gouldii) are the most valued: they are black, tipped with white, and have a beautiful appearance. The chiefs, most of whom possess a considerable number of these feathers, construct small boxes, called e papa, for their reception; and many of these boxes display the most elaborate specimens of their ingenuity in the art of carving. Bunches of the white feathers of the albatross or the gannet are frequently worn in the ears by both sexes; and occasionally similar feathers are stuck all over the head, forming a strong contrast to the raven blackness of their hair. Small birds, such as the fan-tailed fly-catcher (Rhipidura flabellifera), and occasionally the head and breast feathers of the huia, are also introduced into the ear as ornaments; and I have occasionally seen, in the interior, the wings of the eagle and the hawk fastened on each side of the head: the effect of this head-dress resembles somewhat the winged cap of the feathered Mercury; and the forms of the wearers, though more massive, were in point of symmetry not unworthy of the messenger of the gods.

Wooden combs, of small size, but very neatly made, were formerly used by the men for fastening up the hair into a knot at the crown of the head; but these now are becoming obsolete. Oil is employed in beautifying the hair: two sorts of this substance are in use amongst them; one expressed from the seeds of a tree called titoki, the other

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obtained from the shark, which has a most disagreeable odour, and renders the approach of those using it very offensive. The face, before battle, and frequently on festive occasions, and also during their funeral ceremonies, is painted with kokowai, or red ochre; which is very similar to the karku of the Australian natives: this substance, mixed with oil, is also rubbed over the arms and legs to preserve them from the merciless attacks of the namu, or sand-fly. Flowers, such as the blossom of the rata or the clematis, are at times introduced into the ears; but the most usual ornaments are ear-drops made of pieces of nephrite or green jade, called ponamu by the natives; some of these ornaments are several inches in length, and vary considerably in form. Around the neck is worn a small and ludicrous figure, representing a man of grotesque proportions, with large red eyes, which is also formed out of green jade. These little images, termed e tiki, are regarded as amulets or charms; they pass as heirlooms from generation to generation, and are so greatly esteemed, that it is seldom a native can be persuaded to part with one. The term tiki is likewise applied to the colossal wooden images that formerly surrounded their pahs; and the same word is used for similar objects amongst many of the South Sea Islanders.

The hair of the men is usually cut at certain periods, though a few still wear it fastened in a knot at the top of the head. The married women permit

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their tresses to flow loosely over their shoulders; and the young girls generally adopt the fashion of letting their hair fall over the forehead, cutting it a little above the eye-brows. Boys and girls have their hair cut short; and occasionally it is fantastically displayed by closely cropping a line crosswise, and leaving the remainder of the hair in tufts or bunches. The hair is sacred; and to put a lock of hair into the fire is considered a great insult, not only to the party to whom it belonged, but also to those who may happen to be present. The beard is usually plucked out, either with a pair of shells acting as nippers, or with tweezers, which are eagerly sought after by the men. It is a frequent sight to see a chief sitting in the verandah or court before his dwelling, busily employed for hours at a time in eradicating all traces of his beard. Occasionally old men may be observed wearing a beard, but such instances are not of general occurrence.

The principal amusements of the New Zealanders are singing and dancing; they also play at ball, swing, and pass much of their time at the game of draughts. Their songs are invariably accompanied with gesticulations, and frequently with distortions of the countenance, and a shaking or trembling of the fingers. In the haka, they strip to the waist, and, sitting in a circle, go through the song, accompanying the time with all manner of strange gestures and frightful grimaces, squinting, and turning up the whites of their eyes.

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The war-dance is by far the most exciting of all their exercises, and is performed before commencing a battle, and for successive days previous to an engagement, whilst the warriors are mustering at the pahs. The purpose of this savage dance is to excite their warriors to the highest pitch of fury, and to bid defiance to their enemy; accordingly, in its celebration, the tongue is thrust out with the most insulting grimaces, the limbs are distorted, the whites of the eyes are turned up, and the dancing is accompanied by ribald and aggravating songs. On these occasions, the warriors bedaub their bodies with red ochre; for they fight naked, their heads only being ornamented with the feathers of the huia.

The only musical instrument of the Maories is one resembling a small flute, which produces but few modulations of sound. This instrument is sometimes made out of human bone--generally the leg-bone of an enemy; and, when this is the case, it is highly valued as a trophy, and worn, attached to the tiki, round the neck of its possessor.

Draughts are commonly played all over the interior; and it is questionable if they were introduced by Europeans, as the New Zealanders manage the game in a somewhat different manner from ourselves.

In New Zealand, the "tapu" is a custom which almost supplies the place of law amongst other nations. The laying on of the tapu literally means to pronounce the individual or the article in question to be sacred for a greater or less period of time.

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This is done by the Tohunga, or "wise man." The rite of tapu is general amongst those Polynesian races, possessing a similar origin with the New Zealanders: in the Sandwich and other islands it is known as "tabu." Burial-places, articles consecrated to the dead, property left in an uninhabited place, the corn and kumera plantations, and other objects, are made tapu; an entire pah is often laid under the same restriction, as are roads, bouses, and canoes. An individual who has been sick is tapu until a certain period after recovery; and the head, and frequently the whole person, of a chief, is strictly tapu; so is a girl when betrothed in marriage; and a wife is always tapu to every one but her husband. Doubtless this law is the result of some wise regulation for the protection of property and individuals, and it has in many things a beneficial influence amongst a people who have no written or regularly-established code of laws of their own; each tribe being governed by one or more chiefs, whose rule may be considered almost despotic, as they have the power of life or death over their slaves. At the present time, however, the tapu is frequently carried to excess, and it is made use of for many foolish purposes: such, for instance, as not permitting any one to eat or drink in a canoe that is tapu, because a certain chief happened to injure his foot in stepping out of it; or forbidding any one from attempting to ascend a mountain, or travel along a road, because it is tapu.

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Witchcraft possesses a strong hold over the minds of the people; and even those natives who have embraced Christianity are not altogether free from the dread of its supposed power. Diseases are usually attributed to the influence of witchcraft or sorcery, and not to natural causes.

On the death of a chief, or any individual of rank amongst them, a great lamentation ensues, which is called a tangi. The women cut their arms and lacerate their faces and breasts in a dreadful manner, with the sharp and broken shells of the pipi or the mussel; until they become covered with blood. The clothes and property of the chief are generally put into the tomb with him; or they are collected together and placed in a wahi tapu, or sacred place, surrounded with railings, where they rot away exposed to the winds and the weather. The body is enclosed in a mausoleum of carved wood-work within the pah for several months, and at the expiration of this period, the ceremony of lifting the bones takes place, which is performed by the nearest relation of the deceased. The bones, after being well scraped and cleaned, are then deposited in a whata, or elevated box, somewhat resembling a provision store; or they are secreted in a cavern, or some sacred place, known only to the tohunga.

The New Zealanders do not worship idols. Before the introduction of Christianity amongst them, they believed, as do the heathen tribes at the present day, in invisible spirits, called atuas, to which they

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ascribed the form of a lizard. They believe that after death the soul goes to the reinga, or place of future abode, which they affirm is to be approached only down the face of a steep precipice at the northernmost extremity of the island: the place is known to Europeans as Cape Maria van Diemen.

The New Zealander has a fixed and settled habitation: he resides either in his pah, which is a fortified stockade; or in a Kainga Maori, or native settlement, which is not enclosed, where the houses are scattered about as in a village. In times of warfare the whole tribe seeks refuge within the pah, which is often erected on the summit of a steep hill, or on an island, or along the bank of a river. The pah is surrounded with a strong, high fence, or stockade; and the interior is divided, by lower fencings, into numerous court-yards, which communicate with each other by means of stiles; in each court stands the house and cook-house of one or more families, and also the patuka, or storehouse for food. The dwelling-house, and frequently the storehouse, is ornamented with grotesque carving, and coloured with kokowai, or red ochre. The cook-house is merely a shed, built of posts or slabs of wood placed several inches apart, so as to admit the air and wind, and roofed with beams, over which is a thatch-work of raupo: in these houses the domestic operations of cooking and preparing food, corn, &c. take place during wet weather; at other times they are carried on in the open air. The houses are partly sunk in

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the ground, and a true native house is always built with a gable roof and a portico or verandah, where the occupants generally sit. The inner chamber, which extends a long way back, serves as a sleeping apartment, and towards evening is heated by means of a fire; after the family enters for the night, the door and window are tightly closed, and in this almost suffocating atmosphere they pass the night: when day comes, they creep out of the low door into the sharp morning air, dripping with perspiration.

Within the enclosure of the pah also stand the wahi tapu, or burial-places of the chiefs, which, being coloured red and ornamented with rich carving and a profusion of feathers, are attractive objects to a stranger. As the natives at certain seasons of the year are constantly in their plantations and potato-grounds, they erect in them temporary sheds, and long thatched buildings, beneath which to repose in wet weather, and also for the purpose of cooking their food. In the plantations, patukas or storehouses, are also frequent, in which they deposit the seed during the winter; these patukas are always raised upon a pole, or placed between the forked branches of a tree, to preserve them from the attacks of the rats which overrun both islands.

Some of their pahs are very extensive, and contain a population of 1000 to 2000 people; others are much smaller, and are inhabited merely by one chief, with his family and dependants. Since the introduction of Christianity amongst the New Zea-

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landers, the use of these fortifications is become less constant, and in whole districts the natives may be seen dwelling at peace in their scattered houses, without either wall or fence to protect them from an enemy. As Christianity spreads, wars cease amongst the various tribes, and even those formerly the most belligerent are now quiet cultivators of the ground: the New Zealander finds it more to his advantage to produce pigs and potatoes, which he barters to the Europeans in exchange for other commodities, than to be carrying on an endless and mortal strife with his neighbours for no accountable reason whatever.

Although fire-arms have now almost entirely supplanted the native implements of war, a notice of the latter may be interesting. In battle a chief always carried a staff of hard wood with a carved head, the sharp point of which, designed to resemble the human tongue thrust out in an attitude of defiance, was urged forwards as a mark of insult towards the enemy; the eyes were made of small pieces of pawa, or pearl shell, inserted on each side, and the staff was still further ornamented with red parrot's feathers and tufts of dog's hair. This staff, called e hani, is not only used for the purposes of war, but is also carried in the circle of debate: the chief, whilst speaking, runs up and down before his hearers, holding in his hand the ornamented hard. The use of a rod or staff of this sort, as an emblem of authority, is of remote antiquity, and there is a

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passage in Homer 1 which alludes to a similar custom. The meri, or war club, is a flattened weapon, from one to two feet in length, which is used in single combat: it is commonly made out of a bone of the whale; when formed of green jade it is called meri ponamu, and is valued exceedingly. This weapon is fastened round the arm, suspended by a string, which confines it to the wrist when in use. None but chiefs carry the meri: and on the death of a chief, his meri is either buried with him, or it descends to the nearest male relation of the deceased.

The tomahawk was introduced by the European and American whalers, and is used in the same manner as the meri. Like the Red Indians, the New Zealanders have mounted the heads of these tomahawks upon handles of their own manufacture, either of wood elaborately carved, or of human bone adorned with grotesque devices. In the interior, a small wooden dagger is occasionally to be met with: it is carried for purposes of self-defence, by native travellers who go alone through the woods. Another weapon, called a patu, is a light wooden instrument, about four feet long, having a semicircular head resembling a bill-hook or chopper, which is sharp towards the edge; it is ornamented generally with a

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bunch of kaka feathers, and the handle is sometimes adorned with carving. A spear, about twelve feet long, is mentioned by Captain Cook as being in use amongst the New Zealanders in 1774, but it has now become obsolete. In Cook's Straits, I met with one (of which I made a drawing) exactly similar to those mentioned by that celebrated navigator: it was ornamented with grotesque human figures, and the natives said it was the work of men long since dead.

The domestic animals reared by the New Zealanders have been introduced at various times by the Europeans who have visited their coasts. The pig, which is bred in great numbers throughout the country, is said to have been first left on the island by the Spaniards, before the period of Cook's visit: the native name for it is poaka, a word resembling in sound the Spanish term puerca (a sow), and the English porker. The dog is likewise called in some parts of the island by its Spanish name, pero; though it is more usually termed kuri. The horse, the goat, the cat, and domestic poultry are frequently to be met with amongst the natives; especially those on the Waikato, and towards the northern districts. Every pah abounds with dogs, which are used principally to hunt the wild pigs that run loose in the woods.

The population of the islands of New Zealand has never been correctly ascertained. The census of both islands, according to a computation made

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by the missionaries, does not exceed 120,000; though others have estimated it as high as 200,000. Of this number, by far the greater portion belongs to the Northern Island; the only remaining inhabitants on the Middle Island being those under Rauparaha of the Nga ti toa tribe, who inhabit the shores of the Straits, and a small tribe at Otago, whose chief, styled "Bloody Jack," is recently dead. The last-mentioned people are making rapid strides towards civilization: their late chief, though designated by so savage a name, was one of the most intelligent and Europeanized of the natives of New Zealand. The east coast swarms with natives, especially about Hawke's Bay. On the Waikato and Waipa they are also very numerous: the Waikato tribe alone can bring 6000 fighting men into the field. The Nga Pui tribe, to the north, including the Bay of Islands and Hokianga, is an extensive tribe; and under E Hongi, their celebrated warrior, they carried on a series of wars which depopulated many once numerous and flourishing tribes. A colony of New Zealanders, headed by Pomara their chief, emigrated some years ago to the Chatham Islands, nearly 300 miles to the south-east of New Zealand; where they still reside, having conquered the aboriginal inhabitants of those islands, who are a distinct people.

The New Zealanders are universally friendly and hospitable to Europeans, and they exhibit traits of character worthy of the most highly civilized and

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enlightened of the human race. Their change from barbarism to Christianity has been rapid; and it has also been complete, and will prove permanent. From a people addicted to cannibalism, and giving loose to the worst and wildest passions, they have, in a period of but a few years, become an intelligent and superior race, worthy of holding a high position in the scale of the human family, and frequently, by their noble and consistent conduct, putting to blush the more educated and advanced European.

The ever-galling question of land-claims is the only cause of all the various disputes that have arisen between the Maori and the stranger; and with reason. The Maori has now his eyes open: he looks forward; and in the perspective of a dark and gloomy future, he sees his children's land no longer their own, and his proud and swarthy race disappearing before the encroaching European. He broods over this; for he loves his country and the rights of his ancestors, and he will fight for his children's land. He reasons thus: --as the red Indian has been driven back into the far west, and the mungo mungo, or black man of New South Wales, has dwindled away before the civilization of the white man, so his nation--having no outlet, no untrodden wastes and silent forests, still further away, to which they may retreat--must pass into oblivion. It is this that rouses his feelings into jealousy and mistrust; and this feeling it is, which among ourselves would be called patriotism, that

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kindles in him the seeds of so-called rebellion. When first the stranger came to dwell amongst them, he was well received; and, as long as there was no fear of his encroaching on their cultivations, they were glad to have the benefit of his aid and superior knowledge; but when avaricious and greedy men, who had never set foot upon the land, claimed whole districts and territories as their own, and had (almost before the natives themselves were aware of it) purchased for a mere bagatelle the choicest of the soil, the natives saw the approaching crisis, and the future result flashed at once upon their discerning minds. Sad and fearful as have been the effects of a simple, but brave and intelligent native population endeavouring to resist by force the tide of European immigration, it is still to be hoped, that, under the wise and prudent legislation of the present Governor, things may be so ordered and arranged that the original possessors of the soil may enjoy all their former rights and privileges; and that the natives and settlers may live and amalgamate together, so as to form a powerful and a distinguished nation, combining the good qualities, physical and moral, of two fine races of men.


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Printed by STEWART and MURRAY,
Old Bailey.

1   Iliad, lib. xviii. v. 503 to 508; Kirikes d'ara laon, to ithontata eipi. "The heralds at length appeased the populace, and the elders sat on rough-hewn stones within a sacred circle, and held in their hands the sceptral rods of the loud proclaiming heralds," &c.

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