The Moriori may not have been warriors in the traditional sense, considering they were peaceful people, but they hunted prolifically and held on to their pre-peaceful legends and songs, carving them into the trees. These wooden planks decorated a spirit house in the Chathams --- aren't they beautiful? It's disconcerting that the rest of the world is having a very difficult time metamorphosing their warrior spirit into one of patience and love like the Moriori did, but it's a Truth in humanity, I guess.
Sadly, the Moriori are no more.
And that is what the book is about. (Well, that and an adventurous young woman with really good spear-throwing skills.)