Lost in Translation
In 1809, the English ship "Boyd" from Port Jackson, in Sydney, sailed to the shores of New Zealand. Its final destination was Vangaroa Bay in the North Island.
Among the gray mass of ordinary passengers stood out one - Te-Ara, whom the British called George. The peculiarity of the guy was that he was the son of the leader of one of the Maori tribes. How the wind brought Te-Aru to Australia is unknown. But it is known that he had nothing to pay for the ticket to his home. But the captain Thompson was not embarrassed by the lack of money from a New Zealand resident, since there is always a need for an extra pair of hands on a ship. On this, it seems, the Englishman with Maoritsev and decided.
The brig "Boyd" went to the islands with a specific task - the team intended to start collecting cowrie shells - sea gastropods. At the same time, the captain wanted to meet with the leader of one of the tribes in order to establish trade relations. Te-Ara at the beginning of the journey behaved with maximum restraint, causing no problems to either the passengers or the crew. He even agreed to the name of George, so that there was no misunderstanding with the white-skinned. But soon there was a collision. The captain reminded the Maori that he had to pay for the journey. And since Te-Ara was hired by a sailor in order to work out the cost of a ticket, he needs to perform routine work and obey the authorities implicitly. As they said in one famous film: "Subordination and seniority." Then one day, Te-Ara got an assignment to take off the deck. Such a son of the leader could not stand. A conflict based on a cultural misunderstanding of peoples broke out. For Te-Ary, all Britons were second-rate people. And this is not surprising, given his high position in the homeland. Naturally, he had the appropriate mentality. He didn’t think about any hard work. What exactly the son of the leader responded to the order of Thompson - we can only guess. Most likely, the case was not limited to a concise "no." Perhaps Te-Ara expressed his attitude to the black work with arrogant statements about his status, and at the same time reminded the British of their “second grade”. Such a captain, of course, could not pull the brakes. Still, before the eyes of the whole team, a native man questioned his authority. The reaction was not long in coming. Maoritz was whipped, then locked in a cabin, depriving food and water. But such an attitude could not forgive Te-Ara. At home, hundreds of soldiers were ready to give their lives for the leader’s young son by a gesture, and then some Englishmen, smelling of rum, raised their hands to him. What is the norm for the British, for the Maori is a serious insult. While under arrest, Te-Ara came up with how to get revenge on the whites.
The British were let down by the ignorance of the mentality of the inhabitants of New Zealand. Perhaps, if the captain of the “Boyd” knew that it was customary for the Maori to pay for the insult with blood, he would have thought a hundred times before taking Te-Aru on board. But it was too late.
The young son of the leader decided to cheat. Pretending to be aware of the guilt, he offered to show the British some kind of safe bay as a sign of reconciliation. Thompson believed ...
As soon as Te-Ara came ashore, he immediately ran away. But the sailors only laughed at him and no more. No one could have imagined that a bloody retribution was waiting for them soon. And Te-Ara, returning to his native tribe, described in paints all the burdens, anguish and humiliation that the damned British had brought him. The leader summed up: the insult inflicted on his son is an insult to the whole tribe. And if so, only Utu is bloody revenge. By and large, the leader had no choice. The news that the whites were mocked at his son quickly spread to the neighboring tribes. And those leaders were waiting for the appropriate reaction from him. If the father of Te-Ary had not struck back, they would have doubted his strength. And a weak leader is a weak tribe, which suddenly became a tasty prey. Most likely, Te-Ary's father understood that an attack on white-skinned aliens would entail a series of not very happy events. But the laws dictated their terms. That turned out to be a vicious circle without the right of choice on either side.
To understand the logic of Maori, you need to know their living conditions. From the side it may seem that the natives lived in a cozy and peaceful tropical paradise. At first glance, it is. But if you remove the beautiful wrapper of New Zealand, before the eyes of a war that lasted for several centuries. Numerous Maori tribes clashed among themselves over territories and resources. Moreover, their collisions were not at all formal. Often the tribe that lost the war was either completely exterminated, or became the slave of the victor. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Maori fought with spears, shark teeth knives, clubs, used bows and arrows. When the whites began to visit New Zealand more and more often, the natives got metallic weapons. But even without him, they fought worthily both with each other and with aliens. And in melee and did superior to the latter.
Difficult living conditions, when the shadow of war invariably follows on its heels, left a special imprint on the Maori people. Natives differed touchy and hot-tempered temper, which demanded bloody revenge for any insult. And their laws did not see the difference between the neighboring tribe and the British. Because of this, the status of the treacherous cannibal savages was entrenched for the inhabitants of New Zealand. None of the Europeans (especially at first) tried to figure out why and why Maori ate human flesh. It later became known that the act of cannibalism is a theatrical act designed to frighten the enemy. Well, at the same time pick up the defeated enemy and his strength.
The Europeans much later figured out the subtleties of the psychology of the inhabitants of New Zealand. And at the beginning of the nineteenth century, they perceived them in the same way as thousands of other indigenous tribes encountered on numerous islands scattered throughout the oceans. Therefore, when Te-Ara unexpectedly returned, no one suspected anything. In addition, he came to the British with a good offer. Maori told about rare and terribly expensive trees growing in the depths of the island. And as a sign of friendship, the son of the leader was ready to show the cherished place to the whites. The British, with naive joy, accepted the offer of the Maori. Thompson immediately outfitted the expedition, which he himself headed. On the same day, two boats with sailors advanced into the North Island.
They did not sail far. Barely plunging into the island, the Europeans found themselves in a pre-prepared trap. There was no battle as such; there was a slaughter. None of the British survived. It would seem that all, Te-Ara committed an act of bloody revenge, because among the dead was also his main offender - captain Thompson. But the son of the leader of this was not enough. He decided to destroy all Europeans who became involuntary witnesses to his shame. Te-Ara ordered his wars to change into costumes of the murdered British, wait for the sunset, and then attack the ship.
No sooner said than done. When it got dark, disguised Maori in the same two boats approached the “Boyd”. And even though there were sentries on the ship, they did not suspect anything, thinking that it was the captain and the sailors came back. The attack was lightning fast. Maorians, sticking their tongues as hard as possible, attacked the British. They stuck out their tongues for a reason; by this, the natives demonstrated their desire to eat their opponents.
Almost no one had time to resist, only five sailors managed to climb up the rigging. Behind them, the Maorites did not climb. From the upper reaches, the British looked with horror at how the savages killed their fellow citizens and robbed the ship. After some time, the natives left, taking with them not only the loot, but also the bodies of the dead Europeans, as well as several living people captured. The killed Europeans were not taken as trophies, but as the main dish of the upcoming feast. Still, after all, they were able to deal with the white-skinned aliens! All the neighboring tribes simply had to find out about this.
Until the morning, the sailors were afraid to descend. But at dawn, another Maori tribe, led by the leader Te-Pahi, approached the ship. It was with him that the British hoped to bargain. Therefore, the lucky ones left the ship, trusting friendly natives. But the British are not fatally lucky. As soon as they went ashore, the warriors of Te-Ary appeared from behind the trees. And although Te-Pahi tried to rationalize the representatives of the neighboring tribe, his attempts were not crowned with success. Te-Ara demanded to give him the British, threatening in case of disobedience with war. Te-Pahi agreed. Four sailors were killed immediately (there is a version that they ate), and one was captured to be executed (and eaten) already in the village.
Robbery "Boyd" continued. Apparently, the soldiers of Te-Pahi also took part in this “event”. Most likely, the natives did not share something, there was a musket shot (perhaps pure coincidence). Because of this, a powder reserve caught fire and a powerful explosion soon thundered. The ship was almost destroyed. There is a version that several Maori were killed along with the ship, including Te-Pahi’s father.
You can not get into a fight
Te-Pahi understood that the neighboring tribe began to play and crossed the line. Dealing with unsuspecting Europeans is one thing. But resisting professional white-skinned soldiers armed with muskets and guns is another matter. As you know, the road to hell is lined with good intentions. This was felt in their own skin by the leader of Te-Pahi and his whole village.
Somehow, he managed to stop a ship passing by with the British and told them about the tragedy at Boyd. They promised to report "where it should be."
A few weeks later, the British ship Edinburgh entered the bay of Vangaroa. On board - what Te-Pahi was just so afraid of - were not shell gatherers and traffickers, but professional soldiers (according to another version, whalers). He did not begin to understand who was to blame, but attacked the first village that came across. By fateful coincidence, it belonged to the Te Pachi tribe. The British did not spare anyone by arranging an exemplary execution of Maori. Killed and good leader, trying to reason with their bloodthirsty neighbors.
After the destruction of the village of Te-Pahi, the British reached the settlement of Te-Ary. Under the threat of reprisals, the Maori did surrender and extradite the captives. And the British with a sense of accomplishment swam away.
There is another version of events. So, the team of "Edinburgh" did not destroy the village of Te-Pahi. The British were able to achieve the release of prisoners by force and cunning, after which they sailed. Europeans are outraged. They wanted to strike back, which for some reason did not dare the captain of "Edinburgh." Therefore, the punitive expedition entered the Bay of Vangaroa a little later. The soldiers attacked the first turned up village, burned it to the ground, cut out the population and set sail. But what in the first version, that in the second - Te-Ara and his settlement was not affected.
The event that occurred in New Zealand was replicated by many Australian and European newspapers. Journalists competed with each other in horror skills, securing for Maori a reputation for aggressive, cunning cannibals. And for many years after the death of the team and passengers, Boyd was called New Zealand as “Cannibal Islands”. The fact that there really happened and who was to blame was quickly forgotten. No one remembered neither Captain Thompson, who decided not to reckon with the customs of the natives, nor Te-Aru, who threatened his tribe because of his own arrogance. Only the bare facts remained: the perfidiously murdered Europeans and cannibalism.
After the incident with “Boyd” and the retaliatory retaliatory expedition, the relationship between the indigenous people of the islands and the Europeans deteriorated significantly. The former became more aggressive, seeing the threat to life in the aliens. The second ones were convinced that it was impossible to have anything to do with cannibals, and they needed to talk only from a position of brute force.