A pōwhiri — or welcome ceremony. This usually begins outside the marae. Image: Su Leslie
Powhiri, or welcome ceremony, is a hugely important part of Maori culture. Visitors to a marae (a complex of buildings belonging to a particular tribe) must be formally welcomed with a challenge, a karanga (call) and usually speeches.
Wero (challenge). A warrior from the tangata whenua (hosts) will challenge the manuhiri (guests), checking to see whether they are friend or foe. He may carry a taiaha (spear-like weapon), and will lay down a token – often a small branch – for the visitors to pick up to show they come in peace. Image: Su Leslie
Picking up the taki; an indication that the visitor to this marae comes with peaceful intentions. Image; Su Leslie, 2017
Visitors, in this case a bride and groom, being welcomed onto the Te Tii Waitangi Marae at Waitangi, Northland, NZ. Su Leslie 2017
One Word Sunday | culture