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dc.contributor.authorBuck, Peter Henry
dc.date.available2020-09-29T01:42:42Z
dc.date.copyright1910
dc.identifier.citationBuck, P. H. (1910). Medicine amongst the Maoris in ancient and modern times (Thesis, Doctor of Medicine). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/10413en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/10413
dc.description.abstractMy excuse for attempting this thesis is firstly, that I am a graduate in medicine of the University New Zealand and secondly, that my mother was a Maori. It seems to me that with a young university such as that of New Zealand, without the facilities for research work provided by older and richer homes of learning, the scope for original work, which it is the duty of every University to encourage and foster, is somewhat limited. In the philology, history and ethnology of the Polynesian Race, however, is provided a wide field for research work which it is the bounden duty of this University to explore and lead the way. As an obligation to my 'alma mater' I take up the subject nearest to my family - medicine amongst the Maoris, in ancient and modern times. As another reason, I have the honour through my mother of belonging to the Maori race. As a result of four years work amongst them as an officer of Health, I am much struck by the different view point with which the two races, European and Maori, approach the subject of disease. As a member of the Race I am perhaps enabled to understand my mother's people more intimately than the more progressive but some what forgetful Anglo-Saxon. My experience of Maori ideas and customs dates from beyond the time of graduation in medicine. In childhood's days, I experienced the bitter taste of the decoction prepared from phorium tenex and I heard around me the whispered diagnosis of 'makutu' and 'mate Maori'. Constantly throughout youth and early manhood, I have seen the European doctor wax impatient with what he terms prejudices or superstitions which retard or prevent the recovery of Maori patients. I have understood and sympathised with him. At the same time, with the priveledge of the half-breed inheriting the blood and ideas of both races I have been able to detach myself from European thought and look at the question of disease from my Maori countryman's viewpoint. I understood the burden of the neolithic man's fears and I symathise with him more deeply still. There are deep holes in the Urenui river which flows through our tribal territory wherein, so my Maori mother taught me, dwelt 'taniwhas' or 'dragons of slime' who destroyed the transgressor of the multitude of Maori laws and observances. Years of College and University education, combined with the unbelief inherited from a European father, have not been able to suppress the involuntary shudder and contraction of the erector pilae which the suggestion of bathing in those dark holes gives rise to. We inherit our fears in our blood, we imbibe them at our mother's breast. The schools and teaching of a father appeal to us as we grow older. We subject customs and faiths to the light of comparative criticism and we ridicule the ideas of more primitive races as absurd. But in times of stress, despondency and lowered vitality, there is a tendency to revert to the mother's fears which slumber within beneath the veneer of civilisation. How much more so in the case of the full Maori who has not had the advantage of even primary education! Clodd says, "In structure and inherited tendencies each of us is recent". The Maori has not been civilised for a century yet. As a duty to my kin, I have attempted to put on record their view of disease, in the hope that though anthropologist's and others have done so much in collecting the ideas and customs of races on a lower culture stage, this thesis may serve as a small contribution to ethnology. [Extract from Introduction]en_NZ
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoenen_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.titleMedicine amongst the Maoris in ancient and modern timesen_NZ
dc.typeThesisen_NZ
dc.date.updated2020-09-29T01:39:51Z
thesis.degree.disciplineMedicineen_NZ
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Medicineen_NZ
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otagoen_NZ
thesis.degree.levelPhDen_NZ
otago.openaccessOpenen_NZ
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