Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1864 Maori toa 
Subjecttoa warrior
Culture: Maori
Setting: Land Wars, New Zealand 1843-1872
Evolution1807 Maori ariki > 1864 Maori toa

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Belich 1986 p304
"The tension between expectation and reality was, perhaps, the most fundamental cause of the New Zealand Wars.  But it existed long before them.  Even before 1820, the isolated European individuals living with the Maori would, no doubt, have preferred to control their hosts.  They did not try, because of the obvious Maori monopoly of armed might.  From 1840, large scale European immigration made Maori military superiority less obvious and the theoretical British assumption of sovereignty increased the expectation that they would rule in practice.  There followed a series of British attempts to bring the reality into conformity with the expectation; to convert nominal sovereignty into substantive sovereignty.  In 1843, a posse of armed settlers set out to teach Te Rauparaha that he was subject to British sovereignty in fact.  At Wairau, it was routed. As historians have observed, this was the first and last settler commando ever mounted in New Zealand, and this fact in itself was significant for race relations.  With all due respect to British humanitarianism, one reason why New Zealand settlers did not treat the Maoris as their Australian counterparts did the Aborigines was that, when they tried, they got killed."

* Knight/Scollins 1990 p21
"The result [of 19th century immigration from Britain] was a series of conflicts of increasing severity, known to the British as the Maori Wars, and to the Maoris as Te Riki Paheka, 'the white man's anger' (or more recently and significantly, the Land Wars).  For the most part these were a succession of regional campaigns as each Maori tribe came up against the vanguard of European expansion, and made a stand.  The first outbreak occurred in 1843 and set the pattern for future fighting."

* Belich 1982 p15
"The New Zealand Wars of 1845-72 were a series of conflicts involving the British, Imperial and colonial, and the Maori tribes of the North Island.  They were not, as is sometimes suggested, storms in a  teacup or gentlemanly bouts of fisticuffs, but bitter and bloody struggles, as important to New Zealand as were the Civil Wars to England and the United States.  In proportion to New Zealand's population at the time, they were large in scale -- some 18,000 British troops were mobilized for the biggest campaign.  These forces opposed a people who, for most of the war period, did not number more than 60,000 men, women, and children: 18,000 troops were to Maori manpower what fifty million were to contemporary Indian manpower.  The Maori resistance against such odds was remarkable ...."

* Knight/Scollins 1990 p22-23
"In 1864 a Maori movement known as Pai Marire, 'the good and gentile,' sprang up.  Originally a mixture of Christianity and Maori beliefs intended to promote friendship between the races, it soon became bitterly disillusioned and anti-European.  Adherents of the cult, known to the whites as Hauhaus from a chant, 'Hau! Hau!', which formed part of their rituals, prolonged the fighting after the withdrawal of regular British troops in the late 1860s, and it was not until 1872 that the last Maori guerrilla, Te Kooti Rikirangi, retired from the field and signalled the close of the fighting.
    "[...] In battle they were led by an ariki or chief, usually the eldest male of the dominant tribal lineage, but sometimes a relative whose mana as a warrior was greater.  Not until the final stages of the wars did the Maoris begin to lose respect for traditional leaders and to turn instead to commoners, such as Te Kooti, whose reputation as warriors overrode their low tribal rank."

* Knight/Ruggeri 2013 p20
"Members of the hapu were led rather than commanded, and usually by a person of established rank whose mana reflected achievements as a warrior.  Since mana was not always dependent on fighting prowess, however, some ariki, who enjoyed great prestige for other accomplishments but were not great military leaders, would defer in wartime to those in their family who were.  By the 1860s leaders began to emerge on the strength of their military ability alone rather than tribal rank, the most notable being Te Kooti Rikirangi of the Ngati Maru people."


* Knight/Ruggeri 2013 p22
"[W]ith greater interaction the use of European clothing became steadily more common.  The practice of extensive tattooing had begun to die away by the middle of the 19th century, so that by the end of the wars only elderly men still displayed it; instead, many younger Maori followed the pakeha practice of growing facial hair.  The traditional maro and piupiu gave way steadily to the rapaki, a waist-blanket of European manufacture.  Some Maori adopted shirts or trousers, while waistcoats were popular because their pockets were convenient for carrying spare cartridges.  Items of captured military uniform -- particularly forage cups -- were always popular among those keen to advertise the prowess they had displayed in acquiring them.  Nevertheless, while European garments were often worn in combination with traditional Maori items, they never fully displaced them."

* Knight/Scollins 1990 p24
"By the 1860s European clothing was much in vogue, gradually replacing traditional wear.  Waistcoats were particularly popular, since the pockets could be used to carry spare ammunition; and the rapaki, or blanket wrapped around the waist like a kilt, had all but replaced the maro."

* Best 1952 p214
"When the natives first acquired European garments they utilized them in a very singular manner in many cases.  They had been accustomed to plain rectangular garments that were simply wrapped around the body, and the intricacies of European clothing, with the different garments for the two sexes, were too puzzling to be readily grasped.  Thus the most absurd and grotesque sights were seen by early travellers and visitors to these shores." ...


* Knight/Ruggeri 2013 p24
"From the 1850s double-barrelled percussion-lock shotguns, known as tupara, became widely available.  These became very popular in preference to the old flintlock muskets; in bush-fighting the practical range of engagement was usually limited, and the double-barrelled guns obviously offered a higher rate of fire.  Few traders troubled to supply plentiful ammunition, powder, percussion caps or spare parts, however, and throughout the wars the Maori struggled to obtain reliable supplies of all these necessities.  Percussion caps were sometimes made by fitting match-heads into boot eyelets, while any scrap paper was liable to be pressed into service for cartridges."

* Knight/Scollins 1990 p23
"In the 1860s the tupara, or double-barrelled percussion shot-gun, became popular; its increased rate of fire and spread of shot were particularly effective in the misty and claustrophobic conditions of the bush."

Axes (Kakauroa, Patiti)

* Knight/Scollins 1990 p24
"Contact with Europeans introduced other weapons too, notably the iron axe-head.  These were sold by traders without handles, so the Maoris made their own.  Some were made into short tomahawks, called patiti, while others were mounted on a long haft and called kakauroa.  Since many young warriors could not obtain firearms, these axes, together with traditional clubs, remained in use throughout the wars."

* Knight/Ruggeri 2013 p23
"The impact of European trade had a significant influence on Maori weapon technology, and not merely with regard to firearms.  An early staple of white traders was the iron axe- or hatchet-head.  The Maori quickly recognized its advantages over traditional cutting weapons, and since most traders sold the heads without handles the Maori improvised their own.  A short handle or wood or whalebone turned the blade into a tomahawk weapon called patiti.  Whalebone patiti handles were often ornately carved, particularly around the butt end.  The same blades were often ornately carved, particularly around the butt end.  The same blades were also often fitted to a long handle of either wood or whalebone, turning them into a two-handed weapons known as kakauroa.
    "The use of iron axeheads became commonplace by the 1860s, and many warriors would carry a patiti thrust into their belts as a back-up weapon to their firearms.  They did not displace traditional patu entirely, and in particular the mere pounamu remained a highly prized weapon throughout the wars.  Te Kooti, the last great Maori guerrilla leader, carried a whalebone kotiate with him throughout his campaigns."

* Stone 1934 p618
"TOKI POTO, TOKI POO, TANGATA, PATATI.  A short-handled fighting axe, Maori. The heads were always of steel and of European make, the handles were of wood or bone, usually carved on the end.

* Te Maori 1984 p209 f105
"Maori warriors became very skilled in using such a short tomahawk for close infighting.  These were never used for throwing.  In the wars against Europeans the usual weapons for a Maori warrior were a musket, club, and tomahawk.  Tomahawks, because they had been used in war, could not be used for utilitarian purposes."

*Stone 1934 p618
"TOKI KAKAUROA.  A Maori long-handled fighting axe with a European iron head and a wood or bone handle; the latter is often carved. 
    "Stone axes were not used for fighting by the Maoris."


* Brunt/Thomas/Mallon/Bolton/Brown/Skinner/Küchler 2012 p285 (Nicholas Thomas, "European incursions 1765-1880" p270-297)
​"[I]n New Zealand, customary carving styles were extrapolated to walking sticks, termed tokotoko, the word used for orators' staffs and similarly deployed as emblems of male status."