Saturday, September 24, 2011

Māori and Chinese miners

 Maori knew the mountain passes of South Island rivers and their journeys to collect pounamu (green). Early prospectors had Maori guides. When Maori realized that Europeans value placed on gold, some joined the rushes. In 1858 there were 600 Maori men work the fields alongside Collingwood 1300 Europeans. He was Māori prospectors who revealed the promise of the West Coast where they showed their gold trader Collingwood. He recognized the coarse gold as different, and after questioning, they led him to the river Arahura.
Maori were less frequent on the fields of Otago. Even so, the Maori point of the Shotover River is named after Daniel and Erihana Hākaraia Haeroa in 1863 to find. When his dog was swept away and Daniel swam after he fell on a bar of gold and stones, so the story goes, the gold dust in the dog's coat. Before nightfall, the two men had recovered 300 ounces (8.5 kg) of coarse gold from the rock crevices.
Thrown into the river
Maori traditionally placed no value on gold - pounamu (green) was their precious minerals. In the early 1800s an Otago whaler named Palmer was told by a Maori chief that the gold of the watch-seals of white men could also be found on the beaches of the Clutha River. And around 1852, seeing a sample of Tasmanian gold, another Maori said he had once picked up a nugget of potato-sized banks of the Clutha, and thrown into the water.

On the Coromandel Peninsula, Maori have resisted attempts to open their land to mining gold in the 1860s, but few could stand between the Europeans and gold. In 1935, the Ngāti Hori Waten Tamatea tribe, testifying before a commission of inquiry into the Goldfield Ohinemuri, described gold as a curse, as it had strengthened the European interest in the land.
Chinese miners
Minors Otago province is encouraging, mainly from Guangdong province in southern China, to come to New Zealand to replace the Europeans who had deserted the fields of Otago in 1866 for the new footage on the West Coast. The Chinese intended to gain wealth for their families and eventually return to China.
Their mining methods were unique - they worked closely on an area and left behind very little gold, while most European miners were more random. The Chinese preferred to previously mined areas as he was known gold there, and they knew that much gold was lost in the dishes.
After finding gold in Otago and Southland, many Chinese miners were attracted to the West Coast. In the workings of the alluvial gold Īnangahua they represented about 40% (715) of the population in 1882, but numbers have declined in the depression of the 1880s. Their celebration of Chinese New Year with fireworks added interest in the gold mines. Superstition kept some Chinese men tunnels. In places like Greenstone Creek, on the west coast, during the construction of water races they cut deep cracks in the cliffs to avoid tunnel.
Their appearance, clothing, language and use of opium all Chinese miners out as different. They lived in their own premises, and some shops belonging supply of their compatriots. A population of about 5,000 in 1881. Prejudice saw a poll tax introduced in 1881 to discourage immigration. Most hoped to earn enough gold to go home, but many died in New Zealand. Some have been exhumed to be buried at home, but the remains of 499 Chinese miners (including Charles Sew Hoy) instead was a sea burial when their vessel sank off the Vennor the Hokianga in 1902.
Film New Zealand, Energy Illustrious (1988), depicts the Chinese gold miners of Central Otago, and their colonies have been restored and rebuilt in places like Arrowtown.

If you are enjoying reading this blog,Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Buzz or Reddit.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More