Pai Mārire

The Pai Mārire movement was a syncretic Māori religion or cult that flourished in New Zealand from about 1863 to 1874. Founded in Taranaki by the prophet Te Ua Haumene, it incorporated Biblical and Māori spiritual elements and promised its followers deliverance from Pākehā domination, providing a religious aspect to the issue of Māori independence, which had until then been a purely political movement. The embracing of the religion by some Māori also signalled a rejection of Christianity and a distrust of missionaries over their involvement in land purchases. The religion gained widespread support among North Island Māori and became closely associated with the King Movement, but also became the cause of deep concern among European settlers due to the random violence of the followers on isolated settler communities.

Although founded with peaceful motives (its name means Good and Peaceful), Pai Mārire became better known for an extremist form of the religion popularly known as Hauhau, though there is evidence the most violent activities, committed in 1864 and 1865, were led by subordinate prophets acting against the wishes of Te Ua and the basic precepts of the religion. The rise and spread of the violent expression of Pai Mārire was largely a response to the New Zealand Government's military operations against North Island Māori, which were aimed at exerting European sovereignty and gaining more land for white settlement. Pai Mārire became well known for its revival of ancient rites including incantations, a sacred pole and belief in supernatural protection from bullets. Its rites also included beheadings, the removal of the hearts of enemy soldiers and cannibalism. Pai Mārire spread rapidly through the North Island from 1864, welding tribes in a bond of passionate hatred against the Pākehā and helping to inspire fierce military resistance to colonial forces, particularly during the Second Taranaki War (1863–1866).

Governor Sir George Grey launched a campaign of suppression against the religion in April 1865, culminating in the raiding of dozens of villages in Taranaki and on the East Coast and the arrest of more than 400 adherents, most of whom where incarcerated on the Chatham Islands. Elements of the religion were incorporated in the Ringatu ("Raised hand") religion formed in 1868 by Te Kooti, who escaped from the Chatham Islands after being incarcerated there.

New Zealand censuses have as recently as 1961 showed hundreds still listing Pai Mārire as their religion.

Read more about Pai MārireRise of The Prophet, Formation and Spread of The Religion, Government Suppression, Rites and Beliefs

Other articles related to "pai":

Pai Mārire - Rites and Beliefs - Divine Protection in Battle
... fire, they would raise their right hand and cry, "Hapa! Hapa! Pai Mārire, hau! Hau! Hau!" "Hapa" meant to pass over, or ward off, while the exclamation "Hau!" at the end of the choruses – said by one ...
Ringatū
... When many of his hapu became Pai Marire/Hauhau supporters, Te Kooti initially joined the government forces but is alleged to have taken gunpowder and given it to ... understanding of the Bible led many other detainees to reject the Pai Marire movement and convert to his new faith ... When most of the Pai Marire leaders were repatriated to the New Zealand mainland, Te Kooti remained in open detention ...
Second Taranaki War - The Hauhau Movement Intervenes - Attack On Sentry Hill
... a fighter who took part in the attack, explained "The Pai-marire religion was then new, and we were all completely under its influence and firmly believed in the teaching of Te Ua and his apostles ... He taught us the Pai-marire karakia (chant), and told us that if we repeated it as we went into battle the pakeha bullets would not strike us ... we marched on upright (haere tu tonu), and as we neared the fort we chanted steadily our Pai-marire hymn ...
East Cape War
... from a common cause, the arrival of the Pai Marire Movement or Hau Hauism from the Taranaki region around 1865 ... Originally Pai Marire was a peaceful religion, a combination of Christianity and traditional Māori beliefs, but it quickly evolved into a violent and vehemently anti-European (Pākehā) movement ... During this period the New Zealand Government was inadvertently helping Pai Marire recruitment by the confiscation of rebel Māori land,amounting to ...
Kereopa Te Rau
... He was a leader of the Pai Marire or Hauhau religion ... the prophet Te Ua Haumene and converted to the Pai Marire ... Kereopa and his Pai Marire followers then abandoned the people of Opotiki and retreated to the Urewera Mountains to preach to the Tuhoe people ...