All About Aotearoa Surisham 8A

What is Maori Culture?

The word Maori means indigenous or the Polynesian (1300 CE) people of New Zealand (Aotearoa – The Long White Cloud). Maori culture is a very rich culture. It includes traditional arts such as carving, weaving, Kapa Haka (group performance) and Moko (tattoo).

Wood Carving (whakairo).

Toi - Maori Arts

Wood Carving (whakairo).

Te Puia houses the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute was established in the 1920s. It was made to promote all aspects of Maori Culture. Wood carving is one of the biggest part in the New Zealand culture. Each carving gives away different story (narrative).

Raranga (weaving)

Weaving (Raranga)

Maori weaving is full of hidden meanings. It was originally used to make practical items for survival, like rope, fishing nets, and baskets. When the Maori people first came to Aotearoa they realized the weather was extreme compared the one in Polynesia that's were weaving took place. They made (weaved) objects like korowai (cloaks), kete (baskets), whariki (mats), and harakeke (New Zealand flax).

Kapa Haka (Maori Performance)

Kapa Haka (Maori performance)

Kapa Haka is a a powerful part of the New Zealand cultural. Kapa is means LINE and Haka means DANCE. Kapa Haka is different from Haka. The dance is a very emotional and powerful combination of song, dance and chanting (shouting, repeating the words). It is performed in schools, during special events and festivals. They are war dances.

Ta Moko (tattoo)

Ta Moko

It's an unique art of cultural heritage and social status. In early times it was an important sign of social rank, knowledge and skill. Traditionally men wore moko on their faces, buttocks and thighs. Women wore it on their lips and chins. You could also wear those on your neck, back, forehead, stomach and calves. Before the arrival of Europeans the moko was actually carved into the skin.

What are some religion and rituals of Aotearoa?

Religion and Rituals

The centre of the Maori religion were the ATUA (gods). The Maori people believed that the natural and supernatural world were the same. There is no word for religion in Maori. The term 'whakapono' (faith and trust) for religion was introduced by missionaries (priests).


In the tribal Mythology the Sky Father (Rangi) and the Earth Mother (Papa) who created the plants, animals and men. They gave birth to several male gods. One of them, the god Tane abandoned and the spilling of Rangi's blood gave birth to nature. That's why people real;y believe in Rangi, Papa and Tane.

Religions - Christian (50%) Catholic (26%) Anglia no religion (Affilia). They also believe in 'Birdman'.

Why are the Waitangi Treaty people so important?

Waitangi Treaty

Signing the Agreement

The Treaty (agreement) of Waitangi is an agreement first signed on 6 Feb 1840 by the representatives of the British Crown and few other Maori chiefs from the north islands of Aotearoa. It is basically a declaration of British Rule over Aotearoa by Lieutenant Governor William Hobson in May 1840.

it's kept in the Constitution Room at Archives NZ and is signed by the Queen.

Treaty principles include:

  • The partners have a duty to act reasonably and in good faith.
  • The Crown has - Freedom to govern, protect Maori interests. etc.

Why is Aotearoa called 'The land of the long White Cloud'?

the land of the long white cloud

The name 'The land of the long White Cloud' means Aotearoa which was the traditional name for New Zealand. Aotearoa means 'The land of the long White Cloud'.

What type of languages, Food and Clothing are there in Aotearoa?

Language, food & clothing

Language - Maori is the main language spoken in Maori culture. The other common spoken languages are Tuamotuan and Tahitian. Maori is an Eastern Polynesian Language spoken by the indigenous people of Aotearoa, since 1987. Maori ( Te Reo ) means self determination or similar. English (accent)

Food - Food is called in KAI in Maori. It involves Kumara (sweet potato). It's an important dish made during important and special events or festivals of Aotearoa. They also eat Pavlova (dessert) Hangi, Seafood/Meat/Lamb, Boil up (Pork Beans), Cervana and Pava etc.

Clothing - Maori people made their clothes from plants birds and animal skin. That includes - garments, cloaks, adornments and hairstyles (person's status) and tattoos. Plants (Harakeke) cabbage trees and grasses to make fabric . Birds feathers and skins, the skins of seals/Kurt and ploy dogs to make clothes and boats etc.

The Ngapuhi Tribe

What are some tribes or groups in maori culture?

Tribes & Groups

The largest political group was in pre-European Maori society was the Iwi (tribe). Ngapuhi is the largest iwi in NZ.

One of the very famous tribes in Maori culture have the word 'Ngati' in the beginning of the tribe/group name. Ngati means (occurring as part of the name of a tribe).

Some of the other groups/tribes are - Ngapuhi, Ngati Porou, Ngai Tahu. The population of the largest Iwi (Ngapuhi) in 2013 was !25,601.

Fun Facts

  • Male and female both can go out and work.
  • Adults take care of children.
  • It was not a English man who found NZ it was a Dutch man who discovered NZ.
  • Chief Kupe is one of the famous chiefs in history in NZ.
  • Moana the Disney movie is actually based on the islanders of Polynesia/Aotearoa.

Click Them-:

I mainly used google for key information and google images for images. I also used my book as my resource.


Created with images by kewl - "new zealand oamaru otago" • falco - "maori native american art" • KatiCollege - "_MG_9018" • KatiCollege - "_MG_9089" • Que Sara Sera - "Kapa Haka 1" • Archives New Zealand - "Tāmati Wāka Nene of Ngāti Hao, Hokianga" • Archives New Zealand - "Rangi Topeora of Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa"

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