18 Oct 2022

Season 2 Ep 2: Māori: The First 500 Years

From The Aotearoa History Show, 5:00 am on 18 October 2022

There’s sometimes a temptation to think of Māori as a people “frozen in time” - that Māori culture and ways of life were unchanged between the time they arrived in Aotearoa sometime before 1300AD until Captain Cook and the Endeavour arrived in 1769.

But that’s totally wrong! In 500 years, any people are going to change…. A lot! 

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In this episode we look at:

  • How Māori arrived in Aotearoa.
  • How the first few generations seem to have lived.
  • Evidence of Aotearoa’s “first capital city” at Wairau Bar and the role it may have played in early Māori society.
  • How the extinction of megafauna and a cooling climate seem to have triggered major changes in Māori ways of life.
  • Why Māori had different lifestyles in different parts of Aotearoa.
  • How Māori traded and settled disputes.
  • How the end of the “little ice age” seemed to trigger more changes in Māori ways of life.

 For more on this subject:

  • Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris
  • The Making of the Māori Middle Ages by Atholl Anderson, Journal of New Zealand Studies 
  • Māori - Te Ara

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