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Article
July 30, 1927

Maori Symbolism. Being an Account of the Origin, Migration and Culture of the New Zealand Maori as Recorded in Certain Sacred Legends.

JAMA. 1927;89(5):395. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690050061036

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Abstract

The major part of the evidence in this report was furnished to the author by a noble Maori, with the purpose of putting on record sacred legends handed down by word of mouth. It appears that the New Zealand Maori, or Mauri as better spelled and pronounced, claim that they originated in Assyria, left Mexico 3,400 years ago for Peru, and thence proceeded westward, reaching New Zealand about 1,200 years ago. At that time numbering 800, they multiplied to more than a million at the end of the eighteenth century, but after the coming of Europeans they dwindled to the 50,000 of today. The decrease is attributed to bullets and European diseases. Their ancient civilization is said to have included monolithic human images 30 feet tall, terrace gardens, the discarding of bow and arrow in warfare because these eliminated the tall men and were thus inimical to race culture, duels

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