As someone who loves history and hopes not only to learn it but also teach it and as someone who hopes to learn not only from the mistakes of our Jewish People but also from those of others, I wish to share with you the following.
In the late 1990's, I moved to New Zealand where I lived for 10 years.
A great country indeed. Nice friendly people, breathtaking scenery and a relaxing peaceful atmosphere.
There, I heard and read much about the maltreatment of the Maoris by the British during the colonial period. Fortunately for them, nowadays, much is being done to rectify that.
What is yet even more unfortunate is that in the process of remedying that, few, if any remember another group that had lived there BEFORE the Maoris. They are called the Morioris.
Though both the Maori and Moriori tribes are of Polynesian origin, there seem to be differences in practices and their way of life.
Unlike the Maoris and other Polynisian societies, where "bloody tribal warfare was common—in mainland New Zealand, cannibalism remained a feature of many clashes between Māori iwi, or tribes, the Morioris adopted pacifism." It was known as "Nunuku’s law," named after Nunuku-whenua, one of the Morioris ancestor who decreed that "Manslaying must cease henceforth forever."
According to Moriori custom, "if physical conflict were truly necessary, men could hit at one another with tupurau, poles the width of a man’s thumb and a couple of feet in length. But the moment blood was shed or skin broken, they were obliged to stop. Nunuku offered a warning for those who disobeyed his law, King writes: “May your bowels rot the day you disobey!”
In 1832, some Maori tribes set to move to the Chatham Islands where most Morioris settled and "walk the land."
The Morioris decided to adhere to Nunuku law and not fight.
That decision proved detrimental. “They commenced to kill us like sheep,” one survivor said later, “wherever we were found.”
Over two hundred Morioris were killed, many were children.
"Recordings of a council of Moriori elders from 1862 lists all adult Moriori alive on that day in 1835. One cross meant they had died or been killed; two crosses meant they had been cooked and eaten, a Māori custom common to land disputes on the mainland. Those who had not been killed were enslaved, separated from their families, and prohibited from marrying. Many died of illness, overwork, or kongenge, meaning dispiritedness or despair. The historian André Brett argues that what took place was not mass killing, but systematic genocide: “Māori viewed Moriori as a different and inferior people and killed individuals on the basis of their membership of the Moriori group.”
The last full blooded Moriori, Tommy Solomon died in 1933. His descendants live in the Chatham Islands which were annexed to New Zealand in 1842.
I only learned about this history when I lived in New Zealand and even there it is not discussed much.
How unfortunate that along the timeline of history, some try to bury injustices in the hope that they will fade away into the creases of the collective subconsciousness of humanity. We simply refuse to learn the lessons of history and bury them, merely to keep repeating them.
Shabbat Shalom and a peaceful weekend to all