Tamaki Māori village was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had! We arrived to the village around three in the afternoon and were met by our guide, a very happy man who was so excited to see us and explain the Māori culture to our group. Song is very important to the Māori and we were told on our way to the village to pick something to sing to our guide after some speeches were made, we picked “Hakuna Matata” which our guide loved (he was actually singing along with us as certain points).
After our guide welcomed us with a Māori song, we were officially part of the village for the night. We were shown to our lodging for the night and we had some time to settle in before participating in some activities. These activities were a few games, a Māori stick game which was ridiculously fun and we were also taught a song, “A Haka Mana”, which will probably be stuck in my brain until the end of time!
We relaxed for a few minutes and headed off to do some activities which included Māori stick games and learning a song called “A Haka Mana” which will forever be in my brain.
After this, it was time to head to the marae for the pōwhiri (pronouced poe-fa-ree_, a welcome ceremony which begins with a challenge! Check out https://www.newzealand.com/ie/feature/powhiri-maori-welcome/ for a more detailed explanation of what I got to experience here. The videos I post will also show you! The video is a bit long.
When the pōwhiri was over, we were guided into the village itself for a sort of guided tour where different things were explained to our group about Māori culture and how the people are trying to retain bits of the ancient culture but modernize it for new generations. This bit lasted about half an hour and we wre then directed into another area where another cultural show was held, this one focusing on singing!
We also got to experience the Haka! A cultural battle cry that the Māori cultural is famous for around the world thanks to the All Blacks rugby team.
By this time, the entire group was very hungry and the hāngi was finally ready. A hāngi is a traditional way of cooking food, a pit is dug into the ground and the food is cooked by heating rocks over a fire. Basically, the food is super steamed! The food prepared was kūmara (New Zealand’s version of a sweet potato), normal potatoes, lamb, chicken, mussels, and an assortment of fish. It was quite something, best food I had been treated to during my trip on the Kiwi bus.
After the dinner, everyone else who had come to the show left and our Kiwi group was allowed to jump into the jacuzzis and get some drinks to finish off the evening. I was a little boring because I was so exhausted from Hobbiton earlier that day so I turned in early but this was one of my favorite days so far here in New Zealand!
Just so you guys have to suffer with me, here’s the song I learned that will follow me until I die.