Sunday, January 15, 2012

A New Zealand Northland Christmas - Post #11

Waitangi Treaty Grounds
We spent some time touring the sacred Maori grounds where the Maori and European white men learned to live together despite their very different cultures.  The Maori called these new people 'Pakeha', meaning the others.  Today, European New Zealanders often call themselves Pakeha along with the Maori people.  Someone told me there are very few cultures where one group of people gives a name to another people and both accept it.

This is a waka, or a Maori canoe.  This one is very large and ornate and I can't remember how many men it holds.  It is still 'launched' for special holiday ceremonies.

The Marae is a Maori meeting house and is also called Te Maraenui-Atea-o-Tumatauenga.  It is a sacred place that serves religious and social purposes.

Inside the Marae are beautiful carvings and intricately woven mats.  Every part of the structure of the Marae has symbolic and sacred meanings.