Primitive societies react violently to strangers because the their experience is strangers come to conquer and kill.That’s why they are primitive. The concept of peace and trade is foreign to them.
I reckon today should have been a public holiday, to mark 250 years – quarter of a millennium – since these remote islands had opened to the world. That is something to celebrate.
Maori had, of course, been here for perhaps 500 years prior to the arrival of Lt James Cook and Endeavour. But it seems that they’d then become cut off from the rest of the world, with little or no evidence of any ongoing contact with anything or anyone beyond these shores. Material living standards were low. Abel Tasman had come by a bit of the coast 137 years earlier, and had given the name New Zealand, but after the killing of several of his crew, he didn’t land and soon went away again, initiating no ongoing contact.
But after Cook, and the other European explorers around these shores at much the same time, the…
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