Re Maori maraes

This item appears on page 55 of the April 2010 issue.
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Just a note re the photograph and text on New Zealand on page 80 of the March ’10 issue. The writer uses the word marae for “village,” and this is not correct. A village is usually called a pa or pah, which originally meant a fortified village but these days refers to most rural Maori settlements.

A marae is a sacred, open meeting area usually situated in front of the whare runanga, which is the communal meeting house.

The marae is the basis of traditional Maori life, and there are many customs and traditions associated with it. Guests, particularly foreigners, can be there only by invitation and must follow certain rules. In many instances, women are not allowed on the marae, and even the Queen of England had to observe certain protocols when visiting maraes during her New Zealand tour.

The hangi, which the writer enjoyed, is something I grew up with on school fair days. (We have a house in New Zealand now and visit often.) Usually it was mutton and roast pig, but these days hogget and chicken are commonly cooked along with potatoes, kumaras (sweet potatoes) and puha (milk thistle leaves).

The crown of ferns pictured on the young Maori man is also a new style, and although the moko is usually just painted on for the occasion, more and more young Maori are getting traditional tattoos.

BARBARA GLAVISH

Incline Village, NV

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Just a note re the photograph and text on New Zealand on page 80 of the March ’10 issue. The writer uses the word marae for “village,” and this is not correct. A village is usually called a pa or pah, which originally meant a fortified village but these days refers to most rural Maori settlements.

A marae is a sacred, open meeting area usually situated in front of the whare runanga, which is the communal meeting house.

The marae is the basis of traditional Maori life, and there are many customs and traditions associated with it. Guests, particularly foreigners, can be there only by invitation and must follow certain rules. In many instances, women are not allowed on the marae, and even the Queen of England had to observe certain protocols when visiting maraes during her New Zealand tour.

The hangi, which the writer enjoyed, is something I grew up with on school fair days. (We have a house in New Zealand now and visit often.) Usually it was mutton and roast pig, but these days hogget and chicken are commonly cooked along with potatoes, kumaras (sweet potatoes) and puha (milk thistle leaves).

The crown of ferns pictured on the young Maori man is also a new style, and although the moko is usually just painted on for the occasion, more and more young Maori are getting traditional tattoos.

BARBARA GLAVISH

Incline Village, NV