A new study reveals that New Zealand Maori were the first explorers of Antarctica.
A study conducted at the University of Otago on the basis of literary and oral historical sources concluded that the indigenous New Zealanders, known as Aotearoa in Maori, were probably the first Maori to discover the waters surrounding Antarctica and possibly the continent.
According to scholars, Maori and Polynesians supposedly made wonderful journeys far south as early as the seventh century, and these journeys evoked many orally preserved historical relics.
According to oral notes from the Ngati Rarua and Te Ati Awa Maori tribes, the first person to travel to Antarctica was Hui Te Rangiora, a Polynesian explorer in the early 7th century, the Guardian wrote online.
In Memories, the ocean is referred to as Te tai-uka-a-pia, which means that it is a frozen ocean.
Stories told by Polynesians in 1899 record the journey into the far distance, “a misty, frozen, and dark place the sun cannot see.” According to researchers, when describing the ocean, the indigenous people probably talk about the animals, plants and icebergs of the Southern Ocean.
Experts say the name Maori sailor Te Attu also appears more often than the first Maori and first New Zealander to see the shores of Antarctica in 1840. While traveling on a ship called the Vincennes, he mapped the Arctic coast as part of an American expedition led by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes.
Antarctic explorers are Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingschusen and Mikhail Lazarev, who encountered Wimbol self-glaciation in 1820.
Scholars have highlighted the importance of recognizing the merits and responsibility of minority groups, particularly Māori, for current and future research programmes.
The study authors stressed that the narrative of these underrepresented groups and their relationship to Antarctica has been little documented and acknowledged.
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