The Keeper of the Secrets

April 15, 2018

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, History, Māori

A while ago I was contacted by an older gentleman, Cedric, who told me over the phone that he'd heard me on the show and wanted to know if I was interested in a theory he has about the origins of the Māori race. Of course I was, I said, and after a while I received a self-published 32 page book about the theory.

I recently had the chance to sit down at read through the book, and it's an unusual take on the origins of the Māori race. Cedric's theory is that they came from South Africa, via Egypt, around 3,000 years ago. He has made this connection based on some words that are used in both Te Reo and Ancient Egyptian, both those that have similar meanings and those that don't. There's also a claim of a connection between the god Bes and a Hei Tiki, Kiya and a Kea, and a bird in South Africa called the Titihuia, which is also used in Māori as a name.

I asked about the Bes connection to the Hei Tiki, as I've done google image searches for both and they look very different. Cedric admitted that he had to do a lot of searching to find the images that he used, and conceded that most images of the two don't look alike. To me, that seems like a case of cherry picking confirming evidence, rather than there being an overwhelming body of evidence. If he had first predicted that a certain type or age of representation of these gods would look alike, and then gone out to prove that hypothesis, that would be a start. But unfortunately it struck me as a case of wishful thinking.

The Kea was also mentioned, with a connection between Kiya - a wife of Tutankhamun - and our local bird the Kea. Cedric is convinced that the name has travelled to NZ via the "Afronesians", as he calls them.

Cedric also believes that as a 4 year old he was labeled by the local Māori elders as Tapu, and that he was chosen as the Keeper of the Secrets. One of those secrets is that mana is properly said ah-mana, and is another connection to Egypt.

I had a long conversation with Cedric the other day, and have challenged him to show a couple of simple things that might help prove, or disprove, his theory. The first is to show that linguistically the languages are connected. Having shown me several words that are similar in both languages, Cedric asked me "how many words is enough?" My simple answer is that enough is not a simple thing, but a good start is to look at the number of coincidental matches between any two unrelated languages.

DNA evidence is also a good place to look, and I know there has been work that shows Māori descendancy from the region of Taiwan.

I plan to keep conversing with Cedric about his book and his idea, and hope that we can examine his evidence together.