Maori settlers first arrived in New Zealand from Polynesia in the 13th century. European settlers arrived in NZ in the 1800’s which resulted in land wars. Today one in seven New Zealanders are Maori and for many their culture is still an important aspect of their daily lives.
We were interested to learn more about the Maori culture in Rotorua and felt the best way to do this would be to attend a Maori cultural evening.
Maoris cooked their food for several hours buried in the ground with heated stones. This method is called ‘hangi’.
The above picture shows warriers in a hand carved waka (ancient war canoe).
We watched a show where we learned about ancient traditions and customs, carving, weapons and the meaning behind Maori tattoos.
We walked through the forest and saw glow worms which looked like tiny blue lights dotted around the edge of the stream and pond. The above picture of the ‘sacred Fairy Spring’ was taken earlier in the evening and is one of the places the glow worms could be seen in the dark at night.
Although the evening was a bit touristy the show was professionally performed, interesting and informative which gave us a fascinating glimpse into Maori culture. And the food was awesome…