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To explain away the high incidence of observed on many New Zealand burial cave skeletons since early colonial times, Dr.

It's a bit like the term "Maori" itself, which simply means "human being", as opposed to "huhu bug" or fern frond.

All things are possible when you don't have to be too specific and can keep the terms of reference reasonably ambiguous.

Cook Island school kids to my knowledge are STILL strapped for speaking the lingo in school, yet the Cook Island language is still alive. Maori made the mistake of NOT TEACHING their children the language, hence it's death. Like you I am NOT racist, in fact I am fascinated with pre-Euro Maori, but I think that in the main they were a vastly different people than they are today.

Another thing I have noticed is that Cook Islanders really converse in their language, and joke around, and swear at each other in it for a laugh. I think that you are being accused of being so because you DARE to express your opinions. It tends to win the argument for them without them actually having to put up a fight.

So much for respecting their tupuna; usually European tupuna are denied.

I have studied Maori culture all my life, but am often the subject of anger from Maoris, often because I know more than them, but also because I am outspoken in my views.

One of these views is that the Maori language is unfortunately mostly dead, and what is being taught in schools and wanaga's and universities is usually incorrect.

I have been learning to speak Cook Island's Maori from a friend who only started learning English when he was late teens.

Ignorant white kiwis will also call us racist because they like to take part in that guilt we are taught to feel. Cheers, CRAIGHi Craig, You raise a number of issues and, in the interests of brevity, I'll only comment on some of them.

I wish our TRUE history would come out, and by that I mean POST European history. The whole DNA and skeletal evidence subject is a difficult one, not because of a lack of specimens to test, but because of the "laws" governing the gathering of specimens and having them tested.

An individual I know had found Caucasoid skeletons in a cavern and had taken specimens, including a jaw for professional examination, to the Auckland University Medical School. There are ethnicities classified under the headings, Indo-nesians, Micro-nesians, Melan-esians, etc.,..then there are Poly-nesians, which are a mix of many ethnic groups. Even Phillip Houghton, an adept physical anthropologist who wrote, The First New Zealanders, 1980, appears to have assessed only "approved" skeletal research specimens, which were supplied through Maori sources.

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