Revival for Moriori Pushed Close to Cultural Death

On the windswept coast of Chatham Island stands a statue of a thick-jowled, cheerful man, his gaze fixed on the endless sea stretched before him, Pete McKenzie writes for The New York Times.

The memorial honours Tommy Solomon, who for decades has been mythologised as the last “full-blooded” member of the Moriori people, the native Polynesian inhabitants of the island. Today, reports McKenzie, many New Zealanders remember Solomon, who died in 1933, as the last survivor of a culture that drifted into extinction.

Except it hadn’t.

The Moriori are fighting to establish themselves in the national consciousness as a thriving native people.

Original article by Pete McKenzie, The New York Times, January 7, 2022.

Photo by Cornell Tukiri.

Tags: Chatham Islands  Moriori  New York Times (The)  Tommy Solomon  

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