The Great Fleet canoes were : the Aotea, Arawa, Tainui,
Kurahaupo, Takitimu, Horouata, Tokomaru and Mataatua.
* Archaeological linguistic and cultural evidence today
has discredited the Great Fleet theory, and a general consensus
among scholars now is that the Polynesians originally moved into
the Pacific from the West, spread eastwards, and that the Māori
came most recently from the eastern Pacific (that is Tahiti or
the Marquesas). They began to arrive in New Zealand about 1000
|* The New Zealand Encyclopedia, 4th Edition.
The first Polynesians settled mainly around the coast of New Zealand,
and especially the east coast, which was more hospitable and temperate
in climate. The settlers introduced animals such as the dog and
the small Polynesian rat.
At this time, New Zealand was home to many flightless
birds, including the Moa. This bird was, as a consequent, hunted
extensively for its meat, large eggs, and feathers. The Moa bones,
being strong, were used to fabricate artefacts. The Moa was particularly
abundant in the South Island. There were 11 species of the bird,
ranging from the size of a turkey up to 3.7 metres tall, and weighing
up to 200 kg. Different species included the Upland moa (megalapteryx
didinus), the Heavy-footed moa (Euryapteryx geranoides) and the
Giant moa (Dinornis giganteus).
Although Māori culture was a totally stone-age culture until the
arrival of Europeans and the introduction of metal, it was highly
evolved. The various working materials used before the Māori had
access to metal were mainly bird bones, whale bones, ivory teeth,
both dog and human bones, and also stone, from the large stone resources
which had been discovered further inland within New Zealand.
"A sweet potato of tropical origin, a member of the plant family
Convolvulaceae, which was the major cultivated food crop of the
pre-European Māori. The kumara grew successfully only on sheltered
north-facing gardens in the north of the North Island. Some of the
varieties grown today are believed to have been introduced by 19th
century whalers and sealers, but Māori tradition claims the
origin of the kumara as Hawaiki, the legendary homeland. The Kumara
is most certainly a Central American plant originally";
Source : New Zealand Encyclopedia, 4th Edition, Bateman
The name "Māori" originally meant "the local
people", or "the original people". Māori was
a word which signified "local" or "original"
- as opposed to the new arrivals - white European settlers - the
"pakeha". With the arrival of European settlers, the word
Māori gradually became an adjective for the "Māori
people". This change took place before 1815.
Tangata whenua signifies "the local people", "the
local people of the land", "the local people of the ancestral
land. Tangata signifies "human being", whenua signifies
"land" or "ancestral land".
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