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The Maori

The History and Legacy of New Zealand’s Indigenous People
Narrated by: Dan Gallagher
Length: 1 hr and 48 mins
2.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

In 1769, Captain James Cook’s historic expedition in the region would lead to an English claim on Australia, but before he reached Australia, he sailed near New Zealand and spent weeks mapping part of New Zealand’s coast. Thus, he was also one of the first to observe and take note of the indigenous peoples of the two islands. His instructions from the Admiralty were to endeavor at all costs to cultivate friendly relations with tribes and peoples he might encounter, and to regard any native people as the natural and legal possessors of any land they were found to occupy. Cook, of course, was not engaged on an expedition of colonization, so when he encountered for the first time a war party of Maori, he certainly had no intention of challenging their overlordship of Aotearoa, although he certainly was interested in discovering more about them. 

Approaching from the east, having rounded Cape Horn and calling in at Tahiti, the HMS Endeavour arrived off the coast of New Zealand, and two days later it dropped anchor in what would later be known as Poverty Bay. No sign of life or habitation was seen until on the morning of the 9 October when smoke was observed to be rising inland. Cook and a group of sailors set off for shore in two boats and leaving four men behind to mind the boats, the remainder set off inland over a line of low hills. The sentries, however, were surprised by the arrival of a group of four Maori, who adopted an aggressive posture, and when one lifted a lance to hurl, he was immediately shot down.

The impression that all of this left on Cook and the scientific members of the expedition was mixed. By then there had already been several encounters with Polynesian people scattered about the South Pacific, and although occasionally warlike, there were none quite so aggressive as the Maori. In fairness, it must be added that the Maori understanding of Cook’s appearance, and what it represented was by necessity partial, and in approaching it they simply fell back on default behavior, applicable to any stranger approaching their shores.

Taking into account similarities of appearance, customs, and languages spread across a vast region of scattered islands, it was obvious that the Polynesian race emerged from a single origin, and that origin Cook speculated was somewhere in the Malay Peninsula or the “East Indies”. In this regard, he was not too far from the truth. The origins of the Polynesian race have been fiercely debated since then, and it was only relatively recently, through genetic and linguistic research, that it can now be stated with certainty that the Polynesian race originated on the Chinese mainland and the islands of Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Oceania was, indeed, the last major region of the Earth to be penetrated and settled by people, and Polynesia was the last region of Oceania to be inhabited.

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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  • C. Elliott
  • 20-02-19

No concept of Maori pronunciation!

Aggghh. The speaker has no clue when pronouncing Maori words. This is tragic. Anyone interested in learning more about the Maori will cringe when listening and others will have been given consistently bad examples. How very sad. The authors of this work must be fuming.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr.J.A.P.
  • 08-05-19

Beggars can't be choosers

Was going to New Zealand and wanted some books to listen to about the place and its people while road tripping. There just wasn't much on Audible filling that need, so I bought everything there was. There are TWO books by Charles River (editors) and there's a LOT of overlap between them. That said, this one does spend more time discussing the Maori... but if your going to get both books, be warned.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • KPLH
  • 07-08-19

Appalling pronunciation

When the narrator can’t even pronounce the title correctly, there is absolutely no credibility to this title. Find a narrator who can at least pronounce the word “Maori”. Please do the Maori people a favor and delete this title and narrators horrific pronunciation.

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  • Diane
  • 25-04-19

A colonialist history, not a history of the Maori

This was a very disappointing read. It is unforgivable that that narrator doesn’t know the correct pronunciation of Maori. How can you narrate a book without learning how to pronounce the most common word in the book? It’s even more unforgivable that this books is entitled The History and Legacy of New Zealand’s Indigenous People when what it should be called is The History of European Contact with New Zealand’s Indigenous People. It is very disappointing that this is the only book about the Maori in an historical context available in Audible. I hope that is rectified in the future.