Tuesday, 12 February 2013

History of New Zealand

New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation andmitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesiansbetween 1250 and 1300,concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands. Over the centuries that followed these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori.

The population was divided into iwi(tribes) and hapū (subtribes) which would cooperate, compete and sometimes fight with each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to the Chatham Islands (which they namedRēkohu) where they developed their distinct Morioriculture.The Moriori population was decimated between 1835 and 1862, largely because of Māori invasion and enslavement, although European diseases also contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived and the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933.