October 14, 2020
Musket Wars forgotten in official curriculum
A Waitangi Tribunal member and historian says the Ministry of Education’s draft curriculum for compulsory teaching of New Zealand history has made a major omission by leaving out the Musket Wars.
Ron Crosby is filling the gap with the publication by Oratia Books this week of The Forgotten Wars: Why the Musket Wars matter today.
It's a condensation of his seminal 1999 book which traced the inter-iwi conflicts that claimed tens of thousands of lives, with up to half the Māori population killed, wounded or displaced.
Those conflicts between 1806 and 1845, sparked by disruption to the balance of power created by the introduction of things like muskets and potatoes, were the longest period of continuous warfare in Aotearoa and laid the basis of relationships between iwi and hapū ever since.
They also featured cycles of utu and feats of bravery, including the campaigns of Hongi Hika and Te Rauparaha.
The Forgotten Wars breaks the conflict down by region and tribe, including detailed maps and illustrations.
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