Published on 14th July 2016 by

Among The Trees (2010): The tree carvings on Chatham Island are one of the few remnants of the Moriori, following their massacre by the Maori.

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Two hundred years ago 1500 Moriori were slaughtered, many cannibalised, but their spirit lives on in the artwork they engraved on to nature – but for how long?

Only a few generations ago the people of the Chatham Islands – the Moriori – were all but wiped out by invading Maori tribes. The Moriori left behind a small but important legacy carved in the bark of the Chatham Island trees, and now those trees are under serious threat. “These are treasures that the country can ill afford to lose”, says Mana Cracknall, whose ancestor was murdered, “it is an archaeologists dream, the artwork of the Moriori, it’s unique”. As the weathered trees start to crumble, how long until the history of the Chatham Islands is lost forever?

TVNZ – Ref. 4888

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