The Maoiri People

By Colin Baldwin and Joel M Sathees

Maori Culture and Tradition

To a Maori tribe member, the environment is very significant. The Maoris believe that in every area or part of the environment a god rules it. There are many rituals that take place for activities and services such as hunting, fishing, dancing, and burying. Fishing has always been a tradition for the Maoris. Only men are supposed to do this.Priests play a important role in government. Religion and nature play a vital role in Maori tradition and culture.

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Maori Art

Maori art consists of mainly four forms. They are carving, tattooing (ta moko), weaving, and painting. Wood carvings are used to decorate objects such as weapons and houses. Tattooing is done since it is popular in the tribe. Weaving is used to create clothing and bags. Painting was done on rocks. The paintings represented wild life,humans, and mythological creatures. Maori art is focused more on their ancestors than on gods.

Maori People Today

Today Maoris make up about fifteen percentage of New Zealand's population. Almost eighty-four percentage of Maoris live in urban areas and over seventy thousand live in Australia. Only twenty-five percentage of Maoris can speak their native language. In 2001, over five hundred schools were established to teach the Maori language. Maoris still see the traditional aspect of their people even to this day.

Why Study Cultures

It helps us learn about their traditions, beliefs, and other cultural aspects. It is important to study cultures since it informs the differences and similarities we have with them. The more we tend to study and understand them, we can communicate with them more. Communication can help develop better relationships. This can cause more appreciation and respect between society members today.