New Zealand as a New and Legitimate target - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-27-2008, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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New Zealand as a New and Legitimate target


The dreadful Maori custom – or at least occasional habit – of exhuming and eating buried human bodies was also a Fijian custom.

Elsdon Best

In this situation we were not above two cables' length from the rocks, and here we remained in the strength of the tide, from a little after seven till near midnight. The sea broke in dreadful surf upon the rocks. Our danger was imminent and our escape critical in the highest degree; from the situation of these rocks, so well adapted to catch unwary strangers, I call them ‘The Traps.’

There was not a man aboard Endeavour who, in the event of the ship's breaking up, would not have preferred to drown rather than be left to the mercy of the Maoris. For as Endeavour slowly circled the North Island, those few words spoken by the Maori boys – ‘Do not put us ashore there; it is inhabited by our enemies who will kill and eat us’ – began to grow into a hideous reality. Yet even as fresh evidence came to light that these people were indeed cannibals, the ship's company still refused to believe the truth their eyes told them.

Tupia inquired if it was their practice to eat men, to which they answered in the affirmative; but said that they ate only their enemies who were slain in battle. We now began seriously to believe that this horrid custom prevailed amongst them, for what the boys had said we had considered as a mere hyperbolical expression of their fear. But some days later some of our people found in the skirts of the wood, near a hole, or oven, three human hip-bones, which they brought on board: a further proof that these people eat human flesh...

Calm light airs from the north all day on the 23rd November hindered us from putting out to sea as intended. In the afternoon, some of the officers went on shore to amuse themselves among the natives, where they saw the head and bowels of a youth, who had been lately killed, lying on the beach, and the heart stuck on a forked stick which was fixed on the head of one of the largest canoes. One of the gentlemen bought the head and brought it on board, where a piece of the flesh was broiled and eaten by one of the natives, before all the officers and most of the men. I was on shore at this time, but soon after returning on board was informed of the above circumstances, and found the quarter-deck crowded with the natives, and the mangled head, or rather part of it (for the under-jaw and lips were wanting), lying on the taffrail. The skull had been broken on the left side, just above the temples, and the remains of the face had all the appearance of a youth under twenty.

The sight of the head, and the relation of the above circumstances, struck me with horror and filled my mind with indignation against these cannibals. Curiosity, however, got the better of my indignation, especially when I considered that it would avail but little, and being desirous of becoming an eye-witness of a fact which many doubted, I ordered a piece of the flesh to be broiled, and brought to the quarter-deck, where one of the cannibals ate it with surprising avidity. This had such an effect on some of our people as to make them sick. Oedidee, the native who had embarked with us some time before, was so affected with the sight as to become perfectly motionless, and seemed as if metamorphosed into a statue of horror. It is utterly impossible for art to describe that passion with half the force that it appeared in his countenance.

When roused from this state by some of us, he burst into tears, continued to weep and scold by turns, told them they were vile men and that he neither was nor would be any longer their friend. He even would not suffer them to touch him. He used the same language to one of the gentlemen who cut off the flesh, and refused to accept or even touch the knife with which it was done. Such was Oedidee's indignation against this vile custom; and worthy of imitation by every rational being...

One of the cannibals thereupon bit and gnawed the human arm which Banks had picked up, drawing it through his mouth and showing by signs that the flesh to him was a dainty bit. Tupia carried on the conversation: ‘Where are the heads?’ he asked. ‘Do you eat them too?’ ‘Of the heads,’ answered an old man, ‘we eat only the brains.’ Later he brought on board Endeavour four of the heads of the seven victims. The hair and flesh were entire, but we perceived that the brains had been extracted. The flesh was soft, but had by some method been preserved from putrefaction, for it had no disagreeable smell...

This custom of eating their enemies slain in battle (for I firmly believe they eat the flesh of no others) has undoubtedly been handed down to them from earliest times; and we know it is not an easy matter to wean a nation from their ancient customs, let them be ever so inhuman and savage; especially if that nation has no manner of connexion or commerce with strangers. For it is by this that the greatest part of the human race has been civilized; an advantage which the New Zealanders, from their situation, never had.

One of the arguments they made use of to Tapia, who frequently expostulated with them against this custom, was that there could be no harm in killing and eating the man who would do the same by them if it was in his power. For, said they, ‘Can there be any harm in eating our enemies, whom we have killed in battle? Would not those very enemies have done the same to us?’ I have often seen them listen to Tapia with great attention, but I never found his arguments have any weight with them. When Oedidee and several of our people showed their abhorrence of it, they only laughed at them.

Captain Cook

[Touai, a New Zealand chief who was brought to London in 1818 and resided there for a long time, becoming ‘almost civilized’]

confessed in his moments of nostalgia that what he most regretted in the country from which he was absent was the feast of human flesh, the feast of victory. He was weary of eating English beef; he claimed that there was a great analogy between the flesh of the pig and that of man. This last declaration he made before a sumptuously served table. The flesh of women and children was to him and his fellow-countrymen the most delicious, while certain Maories prefer that of a man of fifty, and that of a black rather than that of a white. His countrymen, Touai said, never ate the flesh raw, and preserved the fat of the rump for the purpose of dressing their sweet potatoes...

New Zealanders particularly esteem the brain, and reject the remainder of the head; but an English missionary has reported that Pomare, a chief of the Bay of Islands, ate six entire heads. Chiefs' heads are usually dried and perfectly preserved by an ingenious process. When a tribe wishes to make peace, it offers the vanquished tribe, as proof of its good intentions, the heads of the chiefs the others have lost. These heads are also articles of commerce in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands.

The bones of chiefs are very carefully gathered up, and from them they construct knives, fish-hooks, arrow-points, and points for lances and javelins, as well as ornaments for the toilet. I possess some fish-hooks pointed with very sharp fragments of human bone. Sometimes they detach the hand and the forearm and dry them at a fire of aromatic herbs. The muscles and tendons of the fingers contract so that the whole forms a hook, which they place in their huts for the suspension of baskets and weapons. I have seen several of these used as clothes-pegs. They utilize the remnants of the corpse in this manner in order to cause the family of the chief who is no more to feel that, even after death, he is still the slave of the victor. Before the feast of victory, each warrior drinks the blood of the enemy he has killed with his own hand. The atoua, the god of the conquered, then becomes subject to the atoua of the victors. In the neighbourhood of Hokianga, Hongi ate the left eye of a great chief. According to their belief, the left eye becomes a star in the firmament, and Hongi considered that henceforth his star would be much the more brilliant, and the strength of his sight would be augmented by all that which was possessed by the defunct....

Though the New Zealanders do not conceal their cannibalism, their chiefs sometimes endeavour to excuse themselves for it. ‘The fish of the sea eat one another,’ they say; ‘ the large fish eat the small ones, the small ones eat insects; dogs eat men and men eat dogs, while dogs eat one another; finally, the gods devour other gods. Why, among enemies, should we not eat one another?’

There is usually a suspension of fighting after the death of the first chief to fall in combat. The party which has not lost that leader claims the body of the defunct. If the others are intimidated, they yield it at once, and in addition, the chief's wife, who is immediately put to death; she even voluntarily yields herself up, if she loved her husband. The priests cut up the corpses, divide them into fragments, and eat some; offering the greater number to their idols, while consulting the gods upon the issue of the present war.

Dr. Felix Maynard & Alexandre Dumas, The Whalers, Hutchinson, 1937

After battle comes the terrible and revolting episode of the cannibal feast. It is unfortunately impossible to pass it over without notice, for Maori history is too full of allusion and incident connected with the practice for us to avoid mention of description of some of its horrors.

Prisoners taken in the fight were slain in cold blood, except those reserved for slavery – a mark of still greater contempt than being killed for food. Sometimes after the battle a few of the defeated were thrust alive into large food-baskets and thus degraded for ever. As a general rule, however, they were slain for the oven.

In days near our own it is recorded that a chief named Wherowhero ordered 250 prisoners of the Taranaki people to be brought to him for slaughter. He sat on the ground and the prisoners were brought to him one by one to receive the blow of the chief's mere – a weapon till lately in the possession his son, the late Maori ‘King.’ After he had killed the greater number of them he said, ‘I am tired. Let the rest live.’ So the remainder passed into slavery.

Cannibalism in New Zealand

Daniel Henry Sheridan
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 04:25 AM
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Nice post coon , I spent a lot of my youth in NZ and the tails told would curl your hair, when we used to drive out the coast for a surf we had to drive past the local Pa and would put apples in our mouths and wave at the Maoris' ( very Gary Larson ).
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 07:40 AM
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^ I can tell by your accent.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:12 AM
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I can sound Norwegian English French American Oz or Kiwi, it just depends who I what to take the blame for my poor behaviour

Kiwis have a habit of mumbling, speaking quickly and flattening vowels . So here are a key few phrases which you might hear them say , and what they mean amongst fellow Kiwis.

G’day mate ( only an Ozzy or a Kiwi can say this, everyone else gets it wrong)
The most common thing you'll ever hear said in New Zealand and by a Kiwi. Simply put it is a friendly 'Hello'.

Choice, bro!
A way of saying that something is excellent. 'Choice' is a very versatile word in NZ meaning anything from OK, cool, I agree, I understand, it's been good... to a million other things, but always positive.

Fush & chups
Actually Kiwis are saying Fish & Chips - a popular and, generally, quite healthy meal, bought in local 'takeaways' and cooked to perfection there and then on the spot. Burgers are great in NZ too, using fresh ingredients, locally bought and generally come in the one size of 'huge' - with pineapple, beetroot, cheese, tomato, onion, as well as, the actual contents of what you ordered i.e. a Bacon & Egg burger.

A traditional Maori meal made by slow baking food, over the course of a day (and drinking lots of beer along the way, in informal gatherings), in pits in the earth and results in a very fresh, moist and tasty style of food (typically meat (people!) & vegetables, often accompanied by Kumara - a sweet potato).

A phrase initially coined by the Maori to descrbe the European settlers and argument continues to this day as to whether that original usage was intended to describe them as pale skinned or, frankly, 'with a skin surprisingly similar to pigs'. In modern times it is simply used as a cultural reference to Kiwis of European descent (without the piggy bit).

Chilly bin
An icebox that forms an integral part of any summer holiday, sporting event or student piss-up and is used to keep your beer cool, as well as, for sitting on (practical lot us Kiwis).

A phrase unique to NZ referring to the beach footware that is like a basic sandal with a thong between the big toe & the next one, which holds the whole thing together (called 'thongs' in Australia - to much amusement globally).

Judder bar
A speed hump in the road i.e. the car 'judders' when it goes over one (not Benz's though).

Doing the ton
Getting your car to one hunderd miles an hour.

Like Britain, referring to the private parts of a lady, not your bum.

Good as Gold or Good on ya mate
General phrases used to express happiness or a confirmation that everything is A'OK!

Hard case
A funny or ironic character. Kiwi's would describe DR as 'quite hard-cased' (with the 'quite' reflecting the natural Kiwi reticence to go all the way out on a limb).

Knackered, Tit's up, Sucked a kumara
3 phrases all rougly meaning that something is not working i.e. a possible real scenario could be "Yeah, the car's knackered, the whole day has gone completely tit's up - man, it sucks a kumara!".

Thick as shit
You can probably work this one out - somebody who is pretty stupid.

Pack a wobbly or Crack the shits
To lose your cool or become annoyed.

As Kiwi's proudly boast in London bars, they're quite keen to describe the Kiwi, NZ's national bird... and themselves, as one who 'eats roots & leaves'. Although in their case, they are actually talking about having sex vice any nocturnal forest activity (well, not that sort of activity anyway).

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-28-2008, 08:19 AM
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How sick. Even if it wasn't for real. They have recipes, too

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