Isn’t this interesting?

The oldest surviving photograph of a Māori person has been discovered in the national library of Australia, a historical “scoop” being lauded on both sides of the Tasman.

Hemi Pomara was kidnapped from his home on the Chatham Islands in the early 1840s by British traders, after his family were slaughtered by a rival Māori tribe.

The interest being, well, is he actually Maori? Or, rather, Moriori?

Given that we know the Moriori of the Chatham Islands were slaughterered and or enslaved in the late 1830s by some Maori…..

13 thoughts on “Isn’t this interesting?”

  1. @ MC
    The Grauniad does not seem to know the original meaning of “kidnap” which was to take a child (hence the “kid-“) away from his/her family.

  2. Maori v violent towards each other and prob wiped out the likely red-headed prev inhabitants of New Zealand. Quite possibly ate some of them as well.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Ottokring June 30, 2020 at 9:41 am – “so should be the fate of all ginges.”

    Doc Bud may disagree.

    I have this picture in my mind of a Guardian-type missionary being killed and prepared for the pot by a savage with a bone through his nose, and saying “I approve of this healthy expression of opposition to White fragility and intersectional identity”

  4. The Moriori were a subset of Maori who had been isolated for a few hundred years. But they probably tasted just as good as the Maori of South Island who were eaten by North Islanders from time to time.

    Life is difficult when your subtropical agriculture has failed in temperate NZ, especially once you’ve eaten all the big ground-living birds. Protein and fat – who would want to do without them?

  5. DearieMe has it right, as all NZ’ers know or should know. The Moriori were a tribe (or part of a tribe) that fled mainland NZ around the 1400-1500 period though it is possible that some came directly from the pacific islands even earlier (late 1300’s).
    Genetically they are very similar to mainland NZ Maori. Therefore knowing or recognising the difference is almost certainly not possible with knowing ancestry.

    The Chatham Islands were invaded in 1835 by groups from two Taranaki tribes, and the entire existing population killed or enslaved, with many being eaten. The last known full blood Moriori by descent died in 1933.

    There exists (for Eck’s benefit) no evidence for any “red headed people” existing in NZ before the Maori arrived around the late 1200’s or so. Maori myth has such a people in places, these could be considered the equivalent of “elves” in European mythology and most likely never existed. Of course such a people may have existed, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence after all, but no good reason to thinks so.

  6. Kia ora.

    In fact, many of you are spreading a mixture of incorrect and factual information. Moriori still exist; recently they settled their claim with the NZ govt which has enabled them to build a fish processing plant on the island, reinvigorating the economy and providing jobs. Moriori have married into ky whanau (Solomon) and they are thriving.

    Just as in Europe, there were intertribal wars which also occurred here in Āotearoa. This was compounded with the introduction of the musket and land disputes with the British immigrants. Show me a country’s history where this didn’t occur.

    Please read the links to stories provided. I hope your readers are open to having their assumptions corrected. The myth of the Moriori extermination has long been used to justify colonization of the Māori. While war did happen, it also occurred in many of your own histories on your home soil. You really cannot judge something that your own ancestors indulged in, but on a global scale impacting millions.

  7. You’re rather missing the point we around here make. “Show me a country’s history where this didn’t occur.”

    Yes, quite. Therefore there’s nothing special about English colonialism either.

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