Moriori fight to save language

  • 28/08/2016
Moriori fight to save language

Invaded and enslaved by Ngāti Tama and Ngāti Mutunga 181 years ago, the fate suffered by the Moriori people of the Chatham Islands has seen their culture and language all but disappear. 

Māui Solomon, a Moriori descendant, told The Hui that Re Moriori, or the language of the Moriori people, only exists in files and recordings made in the late 1800s, in an attempt to save it.

As the chairman of the Hokotehi Moriori Trust and grandson of Tommy Solomon - the last full-blooded Moriori - Māui feels a huge sense of duty to revitalise the language of his ancestors.

Māui and a handful of decedents are trying to revive the language through karanga and song, but would like assistance from the Government to help create learning resources for future generations.

Deborah Goomes, who descends both from Ngāti Mutunga and Moriori, says the efforts to revitalise Moriori karanga has bridged the gap between the two iwi and their historical grievances. 

Despite the hardships, the descendants of Moriori are still hopeful their beloved Re Moriori will be spoken again.

Watch the video for the full report.