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19.12.01

Today's language lesson:

katou matehine means "your mom" in Moriori. The Moriori were a small society, related to the Maori of New Zealand but altered culturally by hundreds of years of isolation on what are now known as the Chatham Islands south of New Zealand. In general, they were more egalitarian and hunter-gatherer, and far less warlike, than the Maori. A combination of European diseases, overhunting of seals (their main food) by European hunters, and an invasion by the Maori very nearly eliminated them, though some people of mixed Moriori and Maori or European ancestry survive today. A longstanding myth holds that the Morioiri inhabited New Zealand and were driven out by the Maori. This story is used by Pakeha (non-Maori New Zealanders) to justify Europeans' similar treatment of the Maori.

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