Vol. 1 No. 1 (2020): Global Connections

The Loss and Revival of Moriori Culture and Identity

Published May 14, 2020


In this paper, I discuss the loss and revival of Moriori Culture. I look into the history of the Moriori and explain their historical and cultural roots. I also look into the cultural and natural aspects of their heritage and explain the importance of their cultural practices. Furthermore, I delve into the events that led to the loss of the Moriori people and their culture in the late nineteenth century, and how we are currently seeing a revival of the Morioris and their culture due to technological advancements and preservation of records. I gathered my information from Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, a Moriori case study, and online journals such as The Journal of the Polynesian Society. The journals and encyclopedia gave me an insight into the Moriori people and their cultural practices, the causes of their loss, and how the culture is being revived. The Moriori case study in ‘Bridging the Divide: Indigenous Communities and Archaeology into the 21st Century’ helped me understand how archaeologists and institutions contributed to the loss of Moriori culture. I argue that the revival of Moriori culture and identity benefits the Moriori descendants as there is a restoration of what was once lost, allowing them to reconnect with their cultural identity and ancestors. This revival empowers Moriori people to take control and have a better understanding of their own culture and history. I also urge museums and institutions across the world to return cultural artifacts to the descendants of the Moriori.