Essay on Maori People

Sample Essay on Maori People:

How did Iwi Maori respond to European settlement in the period 1840-1900

Ever since the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi on 6 February 1840 the life of the indigenous Maori people in New Zealand has changed. Their response to the European settlement and further development under the British Crown will be the subject of this essay.

We can write a custom essay on Maori People for you!

When incursion occurs, either peaceful or not, the local population has to make a decision how to react. The reaction certainly depends on numerous factors, including the level of development of the invaders and their attitude to the locals. It is clear that locals never want to assimilate with the aliens completely – the preservation of the authentic cultural peculiarities and traditions are of vital importance for the dignity, might and future prosperity of the indigenous population. In case of the Maori tribe, the British colonizers were far more progressive than the locals in the majority of fields. By the end of the first third of the nineteenth century it became clear that Maori were hardly able to protect themselves from various invaders, which logically implied the urge for a strong protector, e.g. the British Empire, which by then was the vastest empire and the most global power. The request of the Maori tribes to the British crown to protect their lands and possessions eventually resulted in signing the Treaty of Waitangi, nominally granting the Queen of England sovereignty over New Zealand, but guaranteeing security of their possessions and granting Maori the same rights as all other British subjects. Technically, it was a peaceful deal securing the protection of Maori and their values by the Crown in return for their submission.

A peaceful deal implies that harsh protests were not possible for the Maori tribes no matter how much they disliked what happened during the colonization times. Another difficulty brought up by the Treaty was a difference between the English and the Maori versions of the text due to the various possible interpretations of the deal. These different interpretations of the Treaty remain the stumbling block for the British and the Maori in New Zealand for 170 years by now. However, the Treaty and its misinterpretation by the parties is not the crucial key to the description of the way Maori tribes reacted to the colonization – their real life after 1840 is.

The European settlement and further proactive colonization between 1840 and 1900 made a huge impact on the lives and outlook of the authentic inhabitants. Sadly, the impact was not always positive. Taking into consideration the life expectancy and quality, mortality rate among children, and a huge decrease in population and in land ownership, it was obvious that for Maori people on the verge of the century autonomy was an unrealistic and risky option, just like any other cardinal activity within the British Empire.

Although complete assimilation was no option for the Maori, the actual state of affairs and the means and actions of the invaders made local inhabitants choose between two main development schemes: the first one implied adaptation to the western society while preserving strong Maori cultural identity, and the second emphasized the need for Maori control and autonomy, though it did not deny the need to absorb the existing western knowledge and skills. A safer and more strategic approach proved to be more effective in the course of time. Under colonization times new generations of Maori emerged, and among them several prominent thinkers and proponents of Maori culture were born, including Sir Apirana Ngata, who later advocated the first development scheme: adaptation to the western society and taking the best from its experience and knowledge, while retaining cultural identity.

Ngata, Pomare and Buck, the prominent leaders who became popular before 1925 and formed the Young Maori party, strongly believed in possibility of preserving Maori culture and language while implementing the Western democracy, justice, education and modern health practices.

The proponents of the second developmental option were far more cardinal – need for reformation was urged by the state of affairs and it was clear that the path of acceptance did not make much for the Maori during 1840-1900. On the contrary, the Tribes faced dramatic population decline and dispossession, and thus some active measures needed to be taken in order to preserve and retain the initial identity, namely: sense of ownership, control, autonomy and authority. No doubt the second way of development was accepted less benevolently by the government. As a result, Sir Apirana Ngata’s ideas of Maori people development were accepted as the common course of actions.

The Maori development in the XXth century, according to Mason Durie, enables us to distinguish at least four phases of development, each one logically following the previous one basing on the progress made during the latter. The four stages include the recovery, the rural development, urbanization and autonomy.

The recovery period is the one that has the closest bounds with the colonization period of 1840-1900 during which the Maori people have experienced significant decrease of population and land alienation. The recovery was an absolute necessity for the sake of the Maori survival. When the positive demographic trend has been restored, Apirana Ngata’s aspirations were finally no longer an ungrounded dream. The relationships between the crown and the Maori have become paternalistic but the survival and recovery aims have been met. This, in turn, gave path to the second development stage: the rural development. New consolidation schemes for Maori land have been developed by Ngata and enabled new generation of successful Maori farmers and rural economies. This rural development stage might have lasted longer, unless two events significantly altered the course of the Maori development. The first one – the Great Depression has change lives not only of the Maori farmers but of the whole capitalistic world. Maori small-scale farms became unsustainable and dispossession again became the reality for Maori. The second event was World War II which discovered new ways of enforcing links between the Crown and the Maori, when the latter served the King and the country on the war and obtained additional benefits later. When indeed the military activists received the Crown’s benevolence in terms of prospective jobs, it became clear that the bond has strengthened: Maori were sensed as highly dependent and willing to exchange loyalty for the generosity of the State.

The third stage was less turbulent in terms of political and economic events on a worldwide scale. The coincided with the third quarter of the XXth century and logically followed the common trends of the economic development. Maori could no longer support themselves with the farming and turned to big cities in search for proper jobs and incomes. The urban development longer for laborers, even the unskilled ones, and Maori people fit perfectly into the equation. Strong and willing to learn and work, they became the driving force of the urban development. However, the social inequality could not last too long as a critical mass of low-paid Maori workers gathered in the urban areas. Resentment of the 1975 created new steps for the Maori development and finally focused their attention on the social and cultural identity. The urbanization period made clear that alienation and poverty prospered. The course of pro-Maori activities and political documents created strong grounds for the emergence of the Hui Taumata, which aimed at economic self-sufficiency, social equity and cultural affirmation – the values stated as early as 1840, when British colonization began on the Maori lands. Almost 150 years later, the values were finally brought back to life. Their implementation probably still remains challenging for the Maori people, as cultural identity is hard to restore after a century of material values. There are several issues that have to be solved before Maori finally become what they really are: these issues include the relationships with the Crown and the internal relationships of the Maori tribes, the economic development with a switch to the knowledge society, and development of the Maori culture, knowledge and language. Certainly all of these issues require huge amounts of investments in terms of finance, human potential and willingness to improve. Wise alliances and internal hard work on the “return to the core” might be among the solutions to the existing questions of the future Maori development. One thing is clear – after almost two centuries of suffering and trying to retain the prosperity and welfare, the Maori have finally realized through experience that without securing their cultural identity, no real autonomy is possible. Some actions have already been taken – but far more are needed to secure the cultural heritage of the Maori people for the generations to come.

Whatever challenges the future brings, it is important for the Maori tribes to learn from the lessons of history and value and preserve their cultural uniqueness, which in turn will offer new stimuli for the development of the indigenous population of New Zealand.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Remember, Remember, free essays, sample essays and essay examples on Maori People topics are traced by plagiarism detection systems. All samples online are plagiarized. Don’t download them and submit them as your own paper for school, college or university. Why not to get a 100% original custom essay at PapersMart.net? Would you like to get a free quote?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Free Quote for Custom Essay on Maori People

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If you need a custom essay on Maori People feel free to contact our online essay writing company. Our professional academic writers who hold Master’s and PhD degree will write a 100% non-plagiarized essay, term paper, research paper or dissertation for you. Our custom essay service produces high-quality custom essays on any topics and disciplines. Timely delivery and confidentiality guarantee!
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Leave a Reply