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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Ana Lyr Req: My Little Armalite (77* d) RE: My little armalite 21 Jul 99

hi Fadac - I fully realise you meant no ill-will with your Dad's story, but I do feel very saddened at the ignorance and prejudice that under-pined the birth of such stories. I'm sorry to do an education trip, but the recent background for "Maori" may be of interest. I need to say at this point, that my fascination and interest in folk music centres around its reminders of our history, and parallels in contemporary life. Apolitical it is not! The situation for indigeneous peoples has been just ghastly; Yes, the various Iwi (for the word "Maori" as a collective term barely existed before the colonists arrived - kind of like expecting all British to share the same culture/identity) did a fair bit of squabbling before the arrival or "Pakeha" - a generic term for those with white skin. Their societies would appear to have relatively harmonious however, with well defined laws that controlled behaviour. The problems experienced in Britain -potato famine, disenfranchising of lands in Scotland - had a flow on effect of inspiring people towards a "better" life in New Zealand (Aotearoa -the land of the long white cloud) In reality the social problems just continued, but in a new locality. For a time it would seem that things in NZ weren't too bad, but humankind (being the greed driven and territorial animal that history repeatedly demonstrates), took to fighting over the land, when some colonists took to stealing it. (some unscrupuless iwi also saw the advent of such weapons as a way to increase power). There was an absence of understanding from Pakeha over the spiritual attachment of Maori to land (which can be demonstrated in its name -"whenua" which is the same as for placenta) and an attitude of entitlement. In Pre-European times, the periodic fights were with stone tools; some Iwi avoided war, preferring inter-tribal marriage as a way towards conflict resolution. Post-European, the devastation (both social and in lifes) caused by ammunitions was very sad. There is a preconception that the "Maori" were savages, and yet the behaviour of Pakeha through the land wars, shows that none could afford to be self rightous. Your Dad's story unfortunately seems to perpetuate such myths.

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