Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Brianna Lyons

Brianna Lyons

In reading the Horwitz chapter on Cook's travels in New Zealand, I was most surprised at the past and present friction between the
Maori and Pakeha; I had been under the impression that the two cultures had meshed peacefully, especially after the original treaty. I
was also somewhat surprised at the amount of bloodshed that occurred during Cook's visit to the islands, though perhaps it was
relatively peaceful compared to first encounters with exploring Europeans in other areas of the world.

I found it interesting that the term Maori is believed to have come into use after Cook's arrival, and can be translated to mean "normal"
people. The attitude and names the Maori had for the natural features of the land was also interesting, especially when compared to the
reactions of the Europeans, as highlighted by their name for the naturally circular hole in a rock outcrop that had fascinated Cook and
his crew. I was also amused by the Maori's misunderstanding of the reason for the lack of women and children on the Endeavour, and
the resulting assumption that the explorers were homosexual. I was surprised to learn that Cook's surveys of the islands were accurate
enough that they were used up until 1994.

While in New Zealand I am looking forward to seeing how the Maori and European cultures have combined; after reading this chapter I
will be sure to keep an eye out for differences or conflicts of ideas between the two groups of people. I am also curious to see and taste
the foods eaten in New Zealand.

I will probably find myself taking pictures of almost everything we see, but if I could only chose one subject to take photos of I think it
would be the native birds. I hope to learn as much as possible about the biology and geology of the country, and also look forward to
seeing the southern night sky.

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