Alt Left: Repost: The Moriori and the Dangers of Pacifism

The saga of Moriori is instructive.

The Maori have long been known as ferocious headhunters and cannibals who had one of the cruelest and evillest cultures on Earth. The Moriori seem to be a Maori split dating back to about 1500 or so. They left New Zealand and colonized the Chatham Islands. The Chatham Islands are small, very cold and isolated, and there is not a lot of food other than from the sea.

Moriori legend has it that initially, widespread tribal warfare, headhunting and cannibalism was practiced as the normative cruel Maori culture. On such a small island, this savagery was disastrous, and soon the population plummeted to near extinction. A leader arose among the Moriori, Nunuku-whenua, who preached a new doctrine of extreme pacifism, Nunuku’s Law. Nunuku’s Law was strictly adhered to 300 years.

Fighting was allowed between males, but it had to be conducted with each armed with a stick the width of a finger. At the first sign of blood, the duel was called off, and the beef was considered settled. Homicide, rape and other crimes were reportedly rare to absent among the Moriori for centuries.

In 1835, the Chatham Islands were invaded by Maori warriors, who promptly proceeded to slaughter, cannibalize and enslave the Moriori. The Morioris gathered for a meeting to decide whether or not to fight the invaders. Many young men argued for fighting back, but the elders decided that Nunuku’s Law could not be violated for any reason.

The Moriori ran away and hid and were found and dealt with by the Maori.

Rightwingers have used this episode to exemplify the folly of pacifism.

Morioris were forbidden to marry each other, and Moriori women were forced to marry Maori men. It was a true genocide. From 1835-1862, the population declined from 1,600 to 100. Tommy Solomon, the last pure Moriori, died in 1933.

Tommy Solomon on his yearly visit to Christchurch. He was definitely a big fellow! He married a Maori woman, so his descendants are technically not pure Moriori.

Although popular myth says the Moriori were exterminated by the Maori, several thousand mixed-race Moriori still exist today. The Moriori language is extinct, but efforts are being made to raise it from the dead.

The saga of the Moriori gives the lie to the notion that race is destiny, at least among Polynesians.

It is commonly thought that Polynesians selected for extreme aggression on their long sea voyages to colonize distant islands. Food may have run low on these voyages, and the survivors may have killed others and cannibalized them to survive.

Perhaps the biggest and strongest were the ones most likely to survive the voyages, and this explains the huge size of Polynesians, probably the largest race on Earth, and possibly their high levels aggression and outrageous cruelty.

In modern Westernized societies, Polynesians characteristically become an Underclass with high crime, violence, gang membership and general pathology. In traditional societies, they often do well.

Whatever Polynesian genes look like, the saga of the Moriori shows that they are not doomed to high crime rates or Underclass pathology.

Genetics is the clay, culture is the sculptor.