Monday, 29 September 2014

Exploring Maori Culture of New Zealand

New Zealand's Māori culture is an integral part of Kiwi life and adds a unique, dynamic experience for visitors.New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture is accessible and engaging. Join in a haka, the war dance made famous by the All Blacks rugby team, or chow down at a traditional hangi (Maori feast cooked in the ground).

Traditionally Maori used the spoken word as their means of communication, this oral culture placed – and still places- a great emphasis on songs, stories, poems and legends: it is here Exploring Maori Culture recorded their history. Today Te Reo Maori, an official language of New Zealand, is spoken to varying degrees throughout the country; and many place names have retained, or returned, to their original Maori name. By learning a few basic rules of word formation and pronunciation, the language is fairly logical and consistent: give it a go.  

Rotorua Maori culture

Rotorua is the Heartland of Maori culture and the spirit and heritage of local Maori Culture enriches the region as surely as the geothermal activity enlivens it. Ngati Whakaue, the name of the local tribe, arrived in Aoteroa New Zealand, aboard the waka (canoe), Te Arawa. The people are often called Te Arawa, for the name of the mighty waka that brought Tamatekapua, the leader of the tribe, and his people to Ohinemutu on the bank of Lake Rotorua.

Maoritanga Maori Culture

Maori culture, integral to the identity of Aotearoa New Zealand, is a rich and diverse tapestry of art, craft, song, dance and story-telling. Ancestral methods and traditional arts are time honoured through reproduction, whilst contemporary expression is also very popular. A day exploring Maori Culture art forms is just as likely to reveal kapa haka (dance and song) performances or meaningful carvings in native wood or pounamu (greenstone) or moko (tattoo) as it is modern paintings or avant-garde film or hip-hop.

Maori Art & Performance

Maori art and satisfaction is deeply associated with New Zealand’s landscape and environment. Maori art draws heavily on Polynesian carving and weaving techniques. Weaving and carving are utilized to visually convey important myths, legends and history. Maori art forms such as these are therefore similar to the written word in European culture a kind of visual literature. Whilst many international visitors will know about the Maori haka, performed prior to each All Blacks game, there are lots of other forms of Maori Culture performance. Grouped together under the term ‘kapa haka’, performance arts such as poi dances, waiata a ringa (action songs) and waiata tawhito (traditional Maori chant) are used to tell stories, convey history, celebrate, protest and entertain.

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