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Similarities in the Development of the Gaelic-Ulster and Maori Cultures

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 06, 1990


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by Anthony McCann

"The expressed essence and nature of the peoples of any land can be found in the depths of its language and literature. This essay touches on the similarities between Ulster and New Zealand native traditions, moulded and shaped by an ingrained pride and identity with the land to which they belong.

Delving deep into the history of each we find a time of twilight when oral traditions enshrined the culture and identity of the people long before a written literature appeared. In Ulster, the earliest writing form, Ogham, was a clumsy system of lines which has been found carved on the edges of stones, and was inadequate for literary expression.

"It must have been too rude a contrivance to produce anything like a flourishing literature."! Thus hindered, they developed a mode of oral expression as a people through a system of 'Bardic Schools'."

This article examines the similarities between the Ulster and Maori cultures, looking at the native traditions and languages of both.

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