Moari Culture from taisia

The Moari (tangata whenua) are indigenous people of New Zealand. The first people to arrive there were Pacific Islanders, who traveled the seas in giant canoes. They use the stars, sun, and sea currents to navigate and find land, they traveled from island to island. Over a period of 500 years many canoes brought people to Aotearoa, "The Land of the Long White Cloud," as New Zealand was then called. The descendants of the seagoing travellers are now known as Maoris.

The moari's have a rich culture, filled with tradition and legend. Legend is passed down through the generations by story telling, telling stories of the creation of the islands of New Zealand and many more.

The Maoris believe in gods which represented the sky, earth, forests, and other forces of nature. The Maori people also believe that the spirits of their ancestors could be called to help them in war or when they need help.

The haka is one of the most important traditions in the moari culture, it is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups come together in peace. Haka is a fierce dance, showing pride, strength and unity. Each action within the dance has a meaning depending on the words. The actions involve violent foot-stepping, tongues sticking out in weird positions and rhythmic body slapping to make loud noises.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour or welcome guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events,such as birthdays and weddings. Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. You may have seen a haka performed by New Zealand’s All Blacks team before a rugby match.


This photo below is a Marae which is full of carved buildings and ground that belongs to a particular iwi (tribe), hapu (sub tribe) or whanau (family). Marae are used for meetings, celebrations, funerals, educational workshops and other important tribal events.

The most important building within the marae is the wharenui or carved meeting house. The people who belong to a marae do not live there full time, but will come and stay during important occasions. They all sleep in the same room (usually the main meeting house) on mattresses against the walls. They eat together in the dining room, help with chores, and spend time together learning, and discussing. If you are lucky enough to step inside a wharenui, remember to remove your shoes before entering, do not eat or drink inside, and always ask for permission before taking photos.

A visitor who has never set foot on a marae is known as waewae tapu or sacred feet. They have to join a formal welcoming ceremony, called a powhiri, to remove the tapu (sacredness).

The powhiri begins with a challenge. A powhiri usually begins outside the marae with a wero (challenge). A warrior from the tangata whenua (hosts) will challenge the manuhiri (guests), checking to see whether they are a friend or enemy. He may carry a taiaha (spear-like weapon), and will lay down a token or most likely a small branch - for the visitors to pick up to show they come in peace.

The call of welcome. An older woman from the host side will perform a karanga (call) to the manuhiri. This is the visitors' signal to start moving on to the marae. A woman\man from among the visitors will respond with her own call. Visitors walk onto the marae as a group, slowly and silently with the women in front of the men. They will pause along the way to remember their ancestors who died.

To start off, visitors and hosts greet each other with a hongi (the ceremonial touching of noses) After the powhiri, kai (food) will be shared, in keeping with the Maori tradition of manaakitanga or hospitality.

When Maori first arrived in Aotearoa, they found the weather there very different to their homelands in polynesia. They adapted quickly by making a Korowai (cloaks) and other objects such as the Kete (baskets) and Whariki (mats). The most biggest used weaving material (and still is) Harakeke- or also known as New Zealand flax.

Weaving is traditionally done by women and skilled weavers who are prized within their tribes. 'Aita te wahine o te pa harakeke' is a Maori saying meaning 'Mary the woman who is always at the flax bush, for she is an expert flax worker and an industrious person.'

Maori carvings are rich in symbolism and use common patterns. But in every different tribe there is different styles. Symbols include the tiki, which represents the human figure and the manaia which is a creature with a bird head and a serpent like body. Traditional patterns used in carving were often inspired by the natural environment such as spider webs(pungawerewere) and fish scales (unaunahi).

A moko is a name for Maori tattoo and the culture that surrounds it. It is the skin art version of the Maori. Traditionally men had their moko on their faces, their butts and their thighs. womens usually put their moko on their lips and chin. moko is sometimes applied to the forehead, neck, back, stomach, calves and other parts of the body. A moko on the face is to identify a maori. The head is believed to be the most sacred part of the body.

Moko is a maori tradition and is usually applied to skin markings that are done by and on Moari. Markings that are not moko but inspired by maori design are sometimes called kirituhi (writing on skin)

Tattoo is the english version of the tahitian word, tatu. Tattoo is the tradition of marking the skin with ink and needles, where a moko is the practice of scarring and marking the skin to reflect the whakapapa (geanology) of the Maori wearer.

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