MAORI (2,2,2,-,2,2;8,8;E) (AOTEAROA)

IndexAotearoa/New ZealandMaori



“The girl of ten years, is frequently a married woman in New Zealand, and at eleven becomes a mother […]” (Polack, 1840, II:p175)[1]. Tregear (1890:p101-2)[2] stated their women wouldn’t know about the fate of their virginity, “for she had love affairs with boys from the cradle”. The custom of betrothal in infancy was by no means uncommon among the Moari folk, as it some times occurred at the conclusion of the Pure ceremony over a newly-born child (Best, 1914:p159; Rubel and Rosman, 1971:p664)[3].

“Maori children frequently meet in the bush for sex play” (Ford, 1945 [1964:p20])[4]. Maori children “play together at being husband and wife at night in the Bush. Full copulation frequently occurs before puberty” (Ford and Beach, 1951:p192)[5].

The Beagleholes[6] write: “Perhaps because of [the] trait of casualness spills over into other parts of life and because this Maori society is still fairly casual about the biology of sex, it appears that sex play and masturbation among these Maori children are rare. One young mother said that the only sex play she learned as a child was taught by pakeha schoolboys. Another young mother could remember only one Maori boy who masturbated and no girls. There may, of course, be other cases in the community. The fact remains, however, that sex play among these Maori children seems to be infrequently indulged in” (p131-2). Enlightenment by the same-sex parent seems customary, at least in early adolescence (p153-4).




Additional refs.:


-- Earle, M. J. ( 1962) Rakau Children From Six to Thirteen Years: A Reissue. Wellington: VictoriaUniversity of Wellington

-- Ritchie, J. (1957) Childhood in Rakau. Wellington: VictoriaUniversity of Wellington














Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology, Berlin

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Polack, J. S. (1840) Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders. Christchurch: Capper Press. Vol. 2. 1976 reprint. See also Westermarck, E. ([1901]) The History of Human Marriage. London: MacMillan. 3rd ed., p214. Westermarck refers to Angas, Savage Life, I, p314

[2] Tregear, E. (1890) The Maoris of New Zealand, J Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 19:96-123

[3] Best, E. (1914) Ceremonial Performances Pertaining to Birth, as Performed by the Maori of New Zealand in Past Times. J Anthropol Instit Great Britain & Ireland 44:127-62; Rubel, P. G. & Rosman, A. (1971) Potlatch and Hakari: An Analysis of Maori Society in Terms of the Potlatch Model, Man, New Series 6,4:660-73

[4] Ford, C. S. (1945) A Comparative Study of Human Reproduction. New Haven: YaleUniversity Press. 1964 HRAF reprint

[5] Op.cit.

[6] Beaglehole, E. & Beaglehole, P. (1946) Some Modern Maoris. London: Whitcombe & Tombs