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Medicine Amongst the Maoris, in Ancient and Modern Times

Physique of the Race

page 91

Physique of the Race.

The physique of the Maoris was greatly admired by the early navigators and settlers. It is to be regretted that anthropological measurements were not made to enable us to contrast them with the present and prove whether physical deterioration has taken place as a result of civilisation. Early settlers and the elder Maoris unite in asserting that deterioration in height and physique has taken place. They say that the number of tall athletic looking people so common in the early days are now scarce, but then the people as a whole are less in number. We are faced by the same difficulties that presented themselves to the Royal commission on Physical Deterioration in England — lack of data.