New Holland, New Zealand, new sign language…

on the island between the 1200 and 1300 BC Although it is likely that this island was visited by travelers or French explorers, Portuguese and Spanish in the 16th century that left some influence in the Māori language, is considered the first European who arrived in New Zealand was a Dutch Explorer, Abel Tasman (1642), which gave name to the island of Tasmania. Fue sent in search of an imaginary continent, “Terra Australia” (what is today Australia), to make it point strategic business and it would receive the name of “New Holland”. Abel did not succeed in its objective, but found a new territory that was subsequently baptized by two Dutch cartographers as “Wienie Zeeland” in honor of the province “Zeeland” of the Netherlands. The current name “New Zealand” is the translation to English of the first Dutch name.

One hundred and twenty-seven years later came the British James Cook’s French Jean de Survival crews and the island became a meeting point for traders, whaling, preadolescence both European and American missionaries. One of the consequences of this traffic was that Indian tribes began to acquire muskets used in their internal wars with catastrophic consequences, and some areas of the country became “clubs” of unbridled entertainment.

Faced with the prospect that New Zealand became a French colony, Maori asked for protection to the Crown britanicay, finally, most of the heads of Indian tribes signed a treaty respecting culture, notably in 1840 customs and traditions of the Maori, the Treaty of Waiting. In this way, New Zealand becomes a British colony and nowadays is a constitutional monarchy whose head of State is Queen Elizabeth II.

The term “Maori” starts to be used when the native inhabitants begin to live with the Europeans, precisely to distinguish themselves from these, “Maori” means “normal”. European settlers called “hake”.

New Zealand currently coexist three official languages, the maori, English and New Zealand sign language.It is not surprising, considering the history of this country, which the latter proceed of the English Manual alphabet (BSL).

When the English settled in this country, took with them of sign language which communicated their compatriots with hearing problems. In 1878, the first school for deaf children, directed by Gerrit Van Asch, who was a convinced oralista and forbade the use of sign language to force the students to speak English was opened in Sumner. This ban lasted over a hundred years, but students continued clandestinely using the language of signs without any intervention of adults, giving rise to what is now the sign of New Zealand (NZSL) language.

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