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Maori culture is one of the most fascinating indigenous cultures remaining at present. In the first place, it is necessary to note that New Zealand is the only place in the world where population of indigenous people is about 15% of the overall population. However, the fact that made me choose this very culture is that Maori society can be regarded as “a key critique of evolutionary theory” (qtd. in Walter et al. 275).
Maori society developed in a very specific way, which can be regarded as reverse development. Thus, one of the most fascinating facts concerning Maori society is that it “passed from . hunting, gathering and fishing” to agricultural production and then returned to hunting, fishing, gathering (Walter et al. 275).
Moreover, Maori managed to preserve their culture, which is very important as now people understand that wisdom of their ancestors is important to find solutions to contemporary issues. Thus, knowledge of Maori people can help contemporary people solve some environmental issues as Maori’s experience in agriculture is immense. Maori society became known to Europeans in the middle of the seventeenth century and there is quite a lot of information on these indigenous people.
However, apart from considering specific traditions and lifestyles of Maori people, it can be interesting to trace the way they developed. It is especially interesting to understand how they managed to preserve their culture as lots of cultures and societies have disappeared throughout centuries. This understanding can help researchers work out specific strategies to help other indigenous people preserve their traditions.
The history of development of Minangkabau people is quite conventional. The history of this society dates back to 1500. First, Minangkabau were involved in hunting, fishing and gathering. Agriculture developed a bit later and became one of the most important sectors of economy. The most important thing about this Minangkabau society is that they managed to preserve the culture. Sumatra “was integrated in international trade” for a long time (Colombijn 6).
Minangkabau could have assimilated long time ago. Rapid development of economy could have contributed to people’s assimilation as they had to accept new ways. However, Minangkabau society still exists. These people managed to adjust their lives to the changing environment, but they also remained faithful to their cultural backgrounds. Minangkabau people have managed to combine their ancestors’ wisdom and new ways of development which were brought by colonialists.
It can be interesting to trace the development of this society up to these days. It is important to understand how different Minangkabau people of the twenty-first century are from Minangkabau people who lived in the seventeenth or nineteenth centuries. It can be also interesting to consider relationships between Minangkabau people and colonialists. Notably, every century offered a lot of challenges to Minangkabau people.
One of the major challenges has been economic development. Therefore, the most interesting periods to consider are 19th and 20th centuries when Minangkabau people had to find their place in the new world of invaders and in the world of rapid technological development. This knowledge can help define major trends in indigenous people’s development.
Colombijn, Freek. “A Moving History of Middle Sumatra, 1600-1870.” Modern Asian Studies 39.1 (2005): 1-38. Print.
Walter, Richard, Ian Smith and Chris Jacomb. “Sedentism, Subsistence and Socio-Political Organization in Prehistoric New Zealand.” World Archeology 38.2 (2006): 274-290. Print.