Skater in action

IMG_2044

A few years old now, but one of my favourite shots of the boy-child engaged in his favourite activity. Image: Su Leslie 2010

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | action

Symbolic action

Visitor to Waitangi Marae responds to the wero (challenge) by bending to pick up the taki (in this case a branch) indicating to the people of the marae that his party comes in peace. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Picking up the Taki; an indication that the visitor to this marae comes with peaceful intentions. Image; Su Leslie, 2017

Visiting a marae (Maori meeting ground) begins with a highly symbolic welcome ceremony. As part of that, a young man of the iwi (tribal group) to which the marae belongs will issue a challenge (wero) to the visiting party.

The challenge involves a symbolic demonstration of the iwi’s fighting prowess in the form of the young man and his weapon. It is asking the visitors “do you come here with peaceful intentions?”

A representative of the visiting group (usually a man) accepts the challenge by picking up the taki — a symbolic object which in many cases is a branch (think olive branch in terms of symbolism).

After that the group is welcomed onto the marae.

fullsizerender22

Visitors, in this case a bride and groom, being welcomed onto the Te Tii Waitangi Marae at Waitangi, Northland, NZ. Su Leslie 2017

You can find out more about this powhiri (welcome process) here.

Posted to Debbie’s One Word Sunday at Travel with Intent