The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 December 2023


Dictionary Plus History
Rebecca LenihanRebecca Lenihan


The indigenous people of Rēkohu (Chatham Island) and Rangihaute (Pitt Island), 767 km south-east of mainland New Zealand. Guided by ‘Nunuku’s law’, a covenant laid down by Nunuku, a high-ranking Moriori chief who forbade murder and the eating of human flesh some twenty-four generations beforehand. In 1835 the Moriori population was devastated by the arrival of approximately 900 Māori. The Māori arrived severely weakened after a long journey and were nursed back to health by their Moriori hosts, only to subsequently slaughter and enslave the Moriori over the next thirty years. At the time of the 2013 census of New Zealand, 738 people described themselves as being of Moriori descent.

Rebecca Lenihan