Pre Colonial Maori Society On Kinship Groups

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Pre-colonial Maori society was based on kinship groups; hapū, iwi and whanau. These groups are connected to common ancestors and the land and these ties are still integral to maori communities today. (Byers, 2002) As colonization took place, the Treaty of Waitangi; New Zealand’s founding document sought to guarantee the protection of Maori culture and customs but this didn’t result in recognition for the value-based system of social control which Maori had in place. (Vieille, 2010) Within the zeitgeist of post-war society where rates of urbanisation soared, Maori people comprised 80% of the rural population and over the next forty years, the Maori rural population decreased as many became a part of the urban population. (Durie, 2007) This demographic revolution occurred due to the government’s acquisition of land, resulting in great changes with many Maori being disconnected from their traditional ways of life. (Durie, 2007) As these shifts continued, support networks of the whanau or extended families which were once source of strength of maori communities slowly disappeared and maori were become more often at the receiving end of hostile behaviour. (Durie, 2007) Mana in this new urban society was measured differently and it was regarded more in terms of material possessions in comparison with the society they were used to which recognized mana as a sacred spiritual element within individual dignity. (Durie, 2007) The influence of the marae on the individual and the
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