Category Archives: New Zealand 2015

Know where you come from

During the past three weeks, I have been blessed with incredible knowledge, faith, hospitality, love, and strength from all of the beautiful Maori people our group has come in contact with. Our stays have included time at their sacred Marae’s where we learned about their history and traditions. I was touched to hear about how the Maori people pass on their traditions.

While immersed in their culture, I have learned that the Maori people are people who respect nature as if it is part of their family. They honor their ancestors with incredible admiration but most important to me is how humble they are.

I have built many connections and relationships during our stays at different Maraes, but one that has inspired me in many ways was a conversation that I had with Rapata, a member of Rangataua Marae. He is a very spiritual man, one who never wears shoes to be closer to mother earth. He is solely dedicated to his tribe and Marae. He is a member of the council that fights for Maori rights. The most important thing I took away from our conversation was that it was highly important to always know where we come from and to live in a way where everything you do is with aroha (love), and not for money.

Group picture in Kauri Tree Forest

Introduction to the Maori

17 June 2015

Today we visited the Mangere Domain and Auckland Museum. I love learning about historical people and places, so this was right up my alley. It was really helpful to be able to talk directly to descendants of a Maori tribe and hear about their history from their perspective. Jane Matthews demonstrating flax weaving.50Practicing the powhiri (welcome ritual) with them was definitely a new experience, but I am learning to embrace new things. I am also excited to do a real powhiri when we go to a Marae.

One of my favorite parts of today was hearing about the hangi and the Maori “pantry” and then seeing a model of it in the Auckland Museum. This helped me to better imagine what life may have been like. In addition, I was amazed that they built their houses on terraces. It is hard to imagine because over time they have been worn away and skinny now. Continue reading

Group picture in Kauri Tree Forest