In the Rotorua Whakarewarewa Village it’s also possible to see traditional Maori singing and dancing.
Again, yes it’s for the tourists, but it’s better than nothing because entry into a Marae (a Maori communal area) and into a Meeting House on a Marae is usually traditionally possible by invitation only.
It’s considered an extreme rudeness for a visitor to just turn up and expect to be let in, permission has to be given and the necessary etiquette for the greetings followed.
Therefore this kind of tourist ceremony is probably the only way that visitors are able to take a peek into Maori customs… and so we adjourn to the Meeting House for the show that’s about to be put on for us.
When I get to the door I realise that it’s necessary for everyone going inside to remove their shoes… this poses a large problem as I’m on crutches and there are no chairs outside, it’s also very slippery in the wet and there are hundreds of pairs of shoes littering the area around me.
My shoes are also quite painful to get on and off, so I fast assume that I’m going to be skipping this show, even though Himself and the kids are already shoeless and have been funnelled inside by the stream of other tourists.
I resign myself to a patient wait outside in the rain when suddenly I’m recognised by one of the dancers from the restaurant from the evening before…
… she tells me to wait and speaks to an older man, and I’m subsequently told I may come in, helped to negotiate the single step inside, a chair is found and I may keep my shoes on as a special exception.
I spy Kiwi Daughter and Little Mr sitting on the carpet in the front a little further along from me and towards the back, a tall Himself sticks out head and shoulders above the shorter mostly Asian crowd… (there are several rows of people standing behind people sat in chairs nearer the front)
I’m delighted to be able to sit down for a little rest and honoured to be allowed to keep my shoes on because I know that in Maoridom a Meeting House is a very special place and much revered.
Himself and I recognise several familiar faces from the evening before and get some quick grins of recognition and a wave back before the performance starts. Apparently my set of crutches and Himself’s tallness make us less forgettable couple LOL. We are treated to another amazing display of dancing, singing and stick and twirling Poi dances.
Kiwi Daughter buys a pair of short Poi to take home with us and has a go later in the hotel room, as do I, both of us end up repeatedly twisting them into knots… it’s definitely a case of these ladies making it look really really easy. I can personally assure you that it really really is not.
I’ve included few clips uploaded to YouTube with some of the amazing Poi work… just click on the links below…
We grab a few more family photos with the people who performed for us last evening as well as a group photo with more of the performers.I only realise halfway though the performance that there is still a lot of rain on my camera lens so apologies for the bad photo quality.
g-NP9FpwZho (Maori Long Poi dance)
_W-AVoN02pU (Maori stick dance)
sd8Zb8V37Yw (Maori Haka)