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                                       The History of the Maori

      The arrival of the Maori people to New Zealand is deemed as somewhat of a mystery. It is estimated that the first Polynesians arrived over 1000 years ago, possibly around 800 AD or even earlier. Linguistic and cultural evidence suggests that the Maori travelled originally from the Cook Islands - an enormous feat at that time considering the prevailing winds make sailing in a southeast direction extremely difficult. It is because of this that the first navigators probably carne here by design, looking for land whose presence may have been indicated by migratory birds, still flying these paths today. It is unknown if these first explorers actually settled here, or if in fact they returned to the Rarotongan Islands to herald the migration.

      By the end of the fourteenth century, settlement was established throughout the country, most being in the warmer climes of the north, being closer to that of their origins. Being Neolithic, devoid of hides and textiles, they clothed themselves in cloaks constructed with woven flax and adorned with dog fur or feathers provided by many native birds including kiwi and moa. The northern conditions were favorable for many of the subtropical food plants they brought with them, in particular the sweet potato, or Kumara. The Maori people also lived off the abundant produce provided by native birds and the sea. In the south the bird life was hunted to extinction, the most famous of which being the Moa, the spectacular flightless bird that could reach up to 3.7m in height.

                    Disponível em: <http://www.newzealandnz.co.nz/maori/> . Acesso em: 3 mai. 2012  

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