European Contact on Maori People Essay

411 WordsMar 27, 20142 Pages
European contact on Maori people had a significant influence in culture, beliefs, health and the resources of Maori people. In 1769 changes occurred in the early Maori society when the first Europeans set foot in New Zealand. In 1769 after Europeans had arrived in New Zealand they had almost no knowledge of finding food, and relied on Maori people for food. The European people survived by trading goods with the Maori people. This included pigs, chickens, sheep, muskets and a range of fruits and vegetables including potatoes, garlic, onions and peaches. With the Europeans the Maori people traded seafood, flax, kumara carved weapons, craft work and cloaks Maori people were quick to begin using the new technology brought by Europeans. Maori people especially valued the muskets that the Europeans brought over because it gave them a big advantage over their enemies. There is a common belief that musket warfare between 1810 and 1840 caused lots of deaths among Maori. However, these deaths were insignificant compared with the deaths from diseases. From 1810 to 1840 there were around 120,000 deaths from illness and only around 700 deaths from musket wars. The musket wars first began in 1810 and continued on till the 1840s. It started by Maori tribes wanting more land so taking other peoples land. This caused anger over the Maori tribes and lead to massive fights over land. The muskets brought by European people gave Maori people a huge advantage fighting over their enemies because they could shoot them from a distance rather than fighting face to face. Muskets were highly valued with in Maori people and often traded around twenty pigs for one musket. Introduced diseases from the European settlers were the major reason for the Maori population decrease. In the 1890s the Maori population had fallen to about 40% of its original size. This decline became

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