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Auckland, New Zealand, Feb. 25, 1907.
To the Editor:
—In the January 12 number of The Journal I find an extract from the British Medical Journal on "Phthisis and Superstition Among the Maoris." Perhaps your readers may be interested in some observations by myself while acting as local native health officer for four years among these interesting people.All forms of tuberculosis are widespread among them, and even in localities where the conditions are naturally almost ideal for coping with this disease, it is increasing in all its forms. The principal reason for this is their national custom of holding a "tangi" over the dead. This consists of feasting and mourning of all the relatives of the deceased while the body lies in state, surrounded by weeping women and men who rub noses with one another, and cover and uncover the dead to show new arrivals. No matter what the
Reekie JS. Medical Practice Among the Maoris.. JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(17):1446-1447. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520430058015