Māori tribe seeks roots in Taiwan

2018/08/22 19:48:49 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Māori tribe seeks roots in Taiwan

Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) A group of Māoris from Karetu, a region in New Zealand's North Island, arrived in Taiwan Wednesday on a cultural roots-searching tour.

The 18 Karetu people, including 10 teenagers, received a warm welcome from Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka at the Executive Yuan, which they visited soon after their arrival on the island based on Māori tradition.

Kolas, who is a member of Taiwan's indigenous Amis tribe, told the press that the visiting Māori tribe believes their forefathers were from the island, therefore initiated a plan called Hawaiki, which means "ancestor" in the Māori language.

The Hawaiki Plan is a initiative to find the cultural roots of the tribe, noted Kolas, who played a key role in making the Karetu's visit possible.

Indigenous peoples in Taiwan are part of various groups in Southeast Asia, Oceania and East Africa that speak languages that are under the big Austronesian language family. Some research has concluded that Taiwan was the birthplace of Austronesian languages.

(By Fang Cheng-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)

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