Maoris and Muskets
The New Zealand Maoris live and work now in peace as citizens of a modern nation, but they are a people who, like some North American Indian groups and the Zulu of Africa, first became famous as warriors. A great deal has been written about Maori warfare. Particularly those aspects which seemed strange to European observers—cannibalism, the taking of heads, fighting in order to avenge verbal insults — have been richly and conspicuously documented, but copious materials on other aspects have also been made available to various observers and students of Maori life in the two centuries since Captain Cook and other Europeans first landed in New Zealand. In this chapter the materials are used to indicate that a multiphase war process operated adaptively in relation to population pressure in pre-European times and to show how it later became maladaptive and, in effect, a source of novel perturbations for the Maoris.
KeywordsMinimal Segment Revenge Motive European Ship Church Missionary Society Maori Population
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