The Powhiri Process

Topics: Māori culture, Māori, Visitor Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: May 2, 2013
This is a summary of the details of the powhiri process.
The Marae is the core of Maori culture. It is where all of the services are accomplished, agreements and disagreements decide, tribal policies promulgated and formalised. “The word marae has come to mean the collection of building and land within an area that is almost always defined by a fence or wall and, often, on one boundary by a river, lake or sea" (Walker, 2007).The marae is the area in front of the Wharenui, the main house, and it is there that the formal speeches of welcome to visitors. The Marae is where the family gather to consider matters that affect them, Weddings, family celebrations, and hosting of visitors from within and outside the tribal area (Walker, 2007). Powhiri process

When you are arrived at marae, and along with your fellow visitors you are standing outside the marae entrance. The visitors present themselves at the gate entrance with women at the front and children bordered closely by them and the man stand at the back (Walker, 2007).As visitors wait for the powhiri to begin; it is polite not to making any movement onto the marae until after the call has started. “An important thing to be aware of is that entrance onto the marae takes place in silence and that the visitors should be a tight-knit group-no stragglers”(Walker, 2007). More marae are being declared ‘smoke free zones’ and it is not good form to smoke during the entrance onto the marae. Before you entrance the marae, you need to take off your shoes and leave food and drink outside. The powhiri sometimes begins with a traditional challenge, performed by a Maori warrior. In ancient times, the challenge was performed whether the visitors came in war or peace. The highpoint of the challenge occurs when the warrior lays down an offering for the visitors to pick up. If the visitors pick up the offering, the may enter the marae (Wiri, 2007). A call of welcome is made by a woman belonging to the local marae. The...
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