Welcome to the Kiwidutch retrospective tour of New Zealand… we were there December 2011- January 2012 and after spending time in Christchurch we are now heading north to visit friends and family in the upper North Island.
At this point of the trip we are staying in Rotorua and are visiting the geothermal village of Whakarewarewa: have just attended a Maori culture show and are learning about the amazing uniqueness of the area and what’s it’s like to live here as one of the lucky few residents living smack on top of a geological wonder.
One thing I always love to look at is Maori artworks… the carvings and motifs fascinate me, I know that Meeting Houses (“wharenui“ ) have special significance and that the structure itself usually represents the body of a revered and sacred ancestor.
The roof line is the spine of the person so there is a ”head” at the centre of the main gable and the two long protruding parts down the sides at the front are “arms” complete with stylised fingers at the ends.
Inside it’s not the done thing to take photographs inside of a Meeting House (the dancing was ok, just not close ups of carvings and decorations as it’s a sacred place, so I content myself with the acceptable photographs of the outside which are ok, well at least as much as the persistent downpour permits.
If you’d like to learn more about Marae protocol, click on this link: http://www.eske-style.co.nz/maraeprotocol.asp for an excellent description.