No record, no folk tales, as in the case of the Maoris origin.
This linguistic poverty proves that the Australian tongue has no affinity to the Polynesian group of languages, where denary enumeration prevails: the nearest Polynesians, the Maoris, counting in thousands.
The Maoris are Polynesians, and, in common with the majority of their kinsfolk throughout the Pacific, they have traditions which point to Savaii, originally Savaiki, the largest island of the Samoan group, as their cradleland.
The Rarotongas call themselves Maori, and state that their ancestors came from Hawaiki, and Pirima and Manono are the native names of two islands in the Samoan group. The almost identical languages of the Rarotongas and the Maoris strengthen the theory that the two peoples are descended from Polynesians migrating, possibly at widely different dates, from Samoa.
Thus it would seem certain that the Maoris, starting from "further Hawaiki," or Samoa, first touched at Rarotonga, "nearer Hawaiki," whence, after forming a settlement, they journeyed on to New Zealand.
The extraordinary ruined fortifications found, and the knowledge of the higher art of war displayed by the Maoris, suggest (what is no doubt the fact) that there was a hard fight for them when they first arrived, but the greatest resistance must have been from the purer Papuan inhabitants, and not from the half-castes who were probably easily overwhelmed.
Any description of the Maoris, who in recent years have come more and more under the influence of white civilization, must necessarily refer rather to what they have been than what they are.
Physically the Maoris are true Polynesians, tall, well-built, with straight or slightly curved noses, high foreheads and oval faces.
Their colour is usually a darker brown than that of their kinsfolk of the eastern Pacific, but light-complexioned Maoris, almost European in features, are met with.
Politically the Maoris have always been democratic. No approach to a monarchy ever existed.
The Maoris ate their enemies' hearts to gain their courage, but to whatever degree animistic beliefs may have once contributed to their cannibalism, it is certain that long before Captain Cook's visit religious sanction for the custom had long given place to mere gluttonous enjoyment.
The Maoris had no regular marriage ceremony.
Ferocious as they were in war, the Maoris are generally hospitable and affectionate in their home-life, and a pleasant characteristic, noticed by Captain Cook, is their respect and care of the old.
The Maoris buried their dead, the cemeteries being ornamented with carved posts.
All Maoris are natural orators and poets, and a chief was expected to add these accomplishments to his prowess as a warrior or his skill as a seaman.
The Maoris of to-day are law-abiding, peaceable and indolent.
Rusden, History of New Zealand (1895); Alfred Saunders, History of New Zealand (1896); James Cowan, The Maoris of New Zealand (1909).
It is partly under grass and partly wooded, and is inhabited by Maoris, by whom it is regarded as holy ground.
Similar essays at map-making are reported in connexion with Australians, Maoris and Polynesians.
The practice of inducing pictorial hallucinations by such methods as these has been traced among the natives of North and South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, among the Maoris, who sometimes use a drop of blood, and in Polynesia, and is thus practically of world-wide diffusion.
In the North Island the moas seem to have died out soon after the arrival of the Maoris, according to F.
In 1831 they were conquered by Boo Maoris who were landed from a European vessel.
Their language was allied to that of the Maoris of New Zealand, but they differed somewhat from them in physique, and they were probably a cross between an immigrating Polynesian group and a lower indigenous Melanesian stock.
There is also a small export by the natives of the flesh of young albatrosses and other sea-birds, boiled down and cured, for the Maoris of New Zealand, by whom it is reckoned a delicacy.
The swan is identical with an extinct species found in caves and kitchen-middens in New Zealand, which was contemporaneous with the prehistoric Maoris and was largely used by them for food.
The Maoris of New Zealand first came under Christian influence through the efforts of Samuel Marsden, a colonial chaplain in New South Wales about 1808.
The leaves, for fibre-yielding purposes, come to maturity in about six months, and the habit of the Maoris is to cut them down twice a year, rejecting the outer and leaving the central immature leaves.
But up till 1860 it was only native-prepared phormium that was known in the market, and it was on the material so carefully, but wastefully, selected that the reputation of the fibre was built up. The troubles with the Maoris at that period led the colonists to engage in the industry, and the sudden demand for all available fibres caused soon afterwards by the Civil War in America greatly stimulated their endeavours.
But the fibre produced by these rapid and economical means was very inferior in quality to the product of Maori handiwork, mainly because weak and undeveloped strands are, by machine preparation, unavoidably intermixed with the perfect fibres, which alone the Maoris select, and so the uniform quality and strength of the material are destroyed.
Among these the Maoris of New Zealand, and the Polynesian people generally, are remarkable for a mythology largely intermixed with early attempts at more philosophical speculation.
Among the Maoris the god Tutenganahan cut the sinews which united Earth and Heaven, and Tane Mahuta wrenched them apart, and kept them eternally asunder.
The Maoris and other Polynesian peoples are perhaps the best examples of a race which has risen far above the savagery of Bushmen and Australians, but has not yet arrived at the stage in which great centralized monarchies appear.
Myth comes in when the Maoris represent Rangi and Papa, Heaven and Earth, as two vast beings, male and female, united in a secular embrace, and finally severed by their children, among whom Tane Mahuta takes the part of Cronus in the Greek myth.
We have shown that Thlinkeets, Ahts, Andaman Islanders, Australians, Maoris, South Sea Islanders, Cahrocs and others all believe fire was originally stolen.