Maoris have always been democratic. No approach to a monarchy ever existed. Each tribe under its chief was autonomous. Tribal lands were held in common and each man was entitled to a share in the products. They had slaves, but so few as not to alter the social conditions. Every Maori was a soldier, and war was the chief business and joy of his life. Tribal wars were incessant. The weapons were wooden spears, clubs and stone tomahawks. Cannibalism, which earned them in earlier years a terrible name, was generally restricted to the bloodthirsty banquets which always followed a victory. The Maoris ate their enemies' hearts to gain their courage, but to whatever degree animistic beliefs may have once contributed to their cannibalism, it is certain that long before Captain Cook's visit religious sanction for the custom had long given place to mere gluttonous enjoyment.
The Maoris had no regular marriage ceremony. Polygamy was universal, and even to-day they are not strictly monogamous. The power of the husband over the wife was absolute, but women took their meals with the men, were allowed a voice in the tribe's affairs, and sometimes accompanied the men into battle. Some tribes were endogamic, and there matriarchy was the rule, descent being traced through the female line. Ferocious as they were in war, the Maoris are generally hospitable and affectionate in their home-life, and a pleasant characteristic, noticed by Captain Cook, is their respect and care of the old. The Maoris buried their dead, the cemeteries being ornamented with carved posts. Their religion was a nature-worship intimately connected with the veneration of ancestors. There was a belief in the soul, which was supposed to dwell in the left eye. They had no doubt as to a future state, but no definite idea of a supreme being. They had no places of worship, nor, though they had sacred wooden figures, is there any reason to consider that they were idolaters in the strict sense of the word. The custom of taboo was very fully developed. Nowadays they are all nominally Christians. While they had no written language, a considerable oral literature of songs, legends and traditions existed. Their priesthood was a highly trained profession, and they had schools which taught a knowledge of the stars and constellations, for many of which they had names. All Maoris are natural orators and poets, and a chief was expected to add these accomplishments to his prowess as a warrior or his skill as a seaman. The Maoris of to-day are law-abiding, peaceable and indolent. They have been called the Britons of the south, and their courage in defending their country and their intelligence amply justify the compliment. By the New Zealanders they are cordially liked. At the census of 1906 they numbered 47,731, as against 45,470 in 1874; and there were 6516 half-castes. See also Polynesia and Samoa.
Bibliography.—Sir G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology and Maori Legends (Wellington, 1885); A. de Quatrefages, Les Polynésiens et lemurs migrations (Paris, 1866); Abraham Fornander, An Account Of the Polynesian Race (1877–1885); Henri Mager, Le Monde polynésien (Paris, 1902); Pierre Adolphe Lesson, Les Polynésiens, leur origine, &c. (Paris, 1880–1884); W. Pember Reeves, New Zealand; A. R. Wallace, Australasia (Stanford's Compendium, 1894); G. W. Rusden, History of New Zealand (1895); Alfred Saunders, History of New Zealand (1896); James Cowan, The Maoris of New Zealand (1909)
MAP (or Mapes), WALTER (d. c. 1208/9), medieval ecclesiastic, author and wit, to whose authority the main body of prose Arthurian literature has, atone time or another, been assigned, flourished in the latter part of the 12th and early years of the 13th centuries. Concerning the date of his birth and his parentage nothing definite is known, but as he ascribes his position at court to the merits of his parents they were probably people of some importance. He studied at Paris under Girard la Pucelle, who began to teach in or about 1160, but as he states in his book De nugis curialium that he was at the court of Henry II. before 1162, his residence at Paris must have been practically comprised in the decade 1150–1160.
Map's career was an active and varied one; he was clerk of the royal household and justice itinerant; in 1179 he was present at the Lateran council at Rome, on his way thither being entertained by the count of Champagne; at this time he apparently held a plurality of ecclesiastical benefices, being a prebend of St Paul's, canon and preceptor of Lincoln and parson of Westbury, Gloucestershire. There seems to be no record of his ordination, but as he was a candidate for the see of Hereford in 1199 it is most probable that he was in priest's orders. The last reference to him, as living, is in 1208, when an order for payment to him is on record, but Giraldus Cambrensis, in the second edition of his Hibernica, redacted in 1210, utters a prayer for his soul, “ cujus animae propitietur Deus,” a proof that he was no longer alive.
The special interest of Map lies in the perplexing question of his relation to the Arthurian legend and literature. He is invariably cited as the author of the Lancelot proper (consisting of two parts), the Queste and the Mort Artus, all three of which are now generally found in one manuscript under the title of Lancelot. The Mort Artus, however, we know to be the prose working over of an earlier and independent poem. Sundry manuscripts of the yet more extensive compilation which begins with the Grand Saint Graal also refer to Map as having composed the cycle in conjunction with Robert de Borron, to whom, as a rule, the Grand Saint Graal and Merlin are exclusively assigned. The curious Merlin text, Bibl. Nat. 337 (fonds Français), refers throughout to Map as authority; and the enormous Lancelot codex, B. N. 112, a combination of the Lancelot and the Tristan, also couples his name with that of Robert de Borron. In fact it may safely be said that, with the exception of the prose Tristan, always attributed either to Luces de Gast, or Hélie de Borron, the authority of Map has been invoked for the entire vast mass of Arthurian prose romantic literature. Now it is practically impossible that one man, and that one an occupier of court and public offices, constantly employed in royal and public business, very frequently travelling abroad (e.g. we know he was at Limoges in 1173; at Rome in 1179; in Anjou in 1183; and at Angers in 1199), could have found the necessary leisure. On this point we have the testimony of his one undoubted work, De nugis curialium, which he tells us he composed “ by snatches ” during his residence at court. De nugis is a comparatively small book; if it were difficult to find leisure for that, much more would it have been difficult to find the time requisite for the composition of one only of the many long-winded romances which have been fathered on Map. Giraldus Cambrensis, with whom he was on most friendly terms, and who frequently refers to and quotes him, records a speech in which Map contrasted Giraldus' labours with his own, apparently to the disadvantage of the latter, “ vos scripta dedistis, et nos verbs ”—a phrase which has been interpreted as meaning that Map himself had produced no literary work. But inasmuch as the De nugis is undoubtedly, and certain satirical poems directed against the loose life of the clergy of the day most probably, his work, the speech must not be taken too literally. It seems difficult also to believe that Map's name should be so constantly connected with our Arthurian tradition without any ground whatever; though it must be admitted that he himself never makes any such claim—the references in the romances are all couched in the third person, and bear no sign of being other than the record by the copyist of a traditional attribution.
A different and very interesting piece of evidence is afforded by the Ipomedon of Hue de Rotelande; in relating how his hero appeared at a tournament three days running, in three different suits of armour, red, black and white, the author remarks,
Sul ne sai pas de mentir l'art
Walter Map reset ben sa part.
This apparently indicated that Map, also, had made himself responsible for a similar story. Now this incident of the “ Three Days' Tournament ” is found alike in the prose Lancelot and in the German Lanzelet, this latter translated from a French poem which, in 1194, was in the possession of Hugo de Morville. The Ipomedon was written somewhere in the decade 1180–1190, and there is no evidence of the prose romance having then been in existence. We have no manuscript of any prose Arthurian romance earlier than the 13th century, to which period Gaston