Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cook's Anniversary: Would some common sense and greater understanding help?

This year is the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's landing in New Zealand. There is a huge amount of controversy about the way in which this should be commemorated. My suggestion would be for people to take the time to read two particular books: Christina Thompson's Sea People and Nicholas Thomas' Discoveries: The Voyages of Captain Cook.
 Both are very good at explaining the complexities of the cultural clash that took place and the depths of misunderstandings between Maori and Europeans that led to violence. Both groups reacted exactly as they should have according to the established tenets of their own cultures. A little more common sense and background reading would certainly aid greater understanding of the events of that time. Besides both books are fascinating and well-written and challenge many entrenched stereotypes.

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