Maori is the name of the people who inhabited New Zealand when it was discovered by Europeans. Their language is also called Maori. According to tradition, however, they are not the original inhabitants. They arrived in New Zealand several centuries earlier than the Europeans, where they replaced the real original inhabitants.
We’ve all heard about the All Blacks, the famous New Zealand Rugby team, and we all know the haka they perform before their international matches, that originates from the Maori. It’s a traditional ceremonial dance, performed to welcome distinguished guests or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals. The is also associated to battle preparations, because of the vigorous movements and stamping of the feet.
The Maori are very recognizable for their facial and body tattoos. The permanent marking on their faces, arms, legs, and even lips was traditionally a sign of status, and it marked important milestones in a person’s life, for example, the transition from childhood to adulthood. In addition to status and rank, moko was also considered to make a person more attractive for the opposite sex.
The Maori people have an amazing traditional culture, with amazing stories to tell, but there’s also a darker period in their history. The Maori had a hard time when the first Europeans entered New Zealand. War, limited food supply and European diseases made a huge impact on the Maori. The small remaining group managed to integrate and still preserve their culture.
The Maori have adapted very well to their situation. It made it possible that part of their traditional culture still exists today when the first Europeans came to New Zealand. Their ability to adapt to circumstances is an example of unprecedented flexibility and inventiveness. As an entrepreneur you sometimes need to be just as flexible when you’re dealing with co-creation, reintegration or merging companies. The Maori show us that you can deal with anything, if you’re willing to adapt.