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MAORI LEPROSY.

In the "Monthly Review' (Wellington) for August wo find the following :—" A very startling and sensational paragraph has lately appeared in the columns of the ' New Zealand Times' newspaper, stating that leprosy has acquired a firm hold of at least two Native tribes in the Wanganui district. This paragraph is calculated to mislead those who have no personal knowledge on the subject, more particularly where the writer says that the leprosy in question was introduced by the Chinese. It is not too much to say that the author of the paragraph in question is wrong in almost all his statements. The leprosy to which he refers is of rare occurrence. It does not, so far as my experience goes, exist among the Wanganui hapm. It is most unquestionably a Maori disease; but I have only known of ifes existence among the Taupo tribes. This so-called leprosy is known among the Maoris under the name of ngeringeri, and I have only seen three persons thus afflicted. The disease is said to be highly contagious, and the subjects are at once rigorously isolated. The nature of the disease is such that the toes and fingers wither, and drop off one by one, until the patient dies; the mind does not appear to be greatly affected by this horrible malady, nor does there appear to be any great bodily pain, but on these two points I am open to correction. So terrified are the Maoris lest they should be smitten with this form of leprosy, that the mere report that a person had died of iigeringeri in any house, even ten years previously, would be sufficient to prevent him from entering the place; indeed, they would not even cat food that had been cooked with the wood taken from the house. This is a very interesting snbject, and I hope this notice may provoke discussion, since there must be many persons who have some knowledge concerning it now living in Wellington." '

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890826.2.11

Bibliographic details

MAORI LEPROSY., Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

Word Count
330

MAORI LEPROSY. Issue 7995, 26 August 1889

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