Our new Operations Officer Tendekai R Mugadza attended a Marae visit as part of his welcome to MNZ. The following is his experience and what he learnt.
“I was enrolled to the Awataha Marae Experience a few weeks into my new role. I can honestly say it was a worthwhile experience and an excellent way to acknowledge the people of the land and their history. They first did a traditional welcome called a Pohwiri before we were allowed in. This is important as you must declare whether you come in peace or in war to a Marae. They showed us both ways.
We were then taken into a big meeting room where history of the Maori people was told to us through various stories. I found the history of Maori and their ancestors intriguing. We were also taught a traditional song (Waita).
In another segment we were taught how to make useful items like bags using a traditional weaving method called Raranga. The best part of the who experience was learning the Haka and a few other chanting songs. Lunch was also a traditional meal called a Hangi, where the food is traditionally prepared and cooked in the ground.”
Tendekai says the things he mostly enjoyed were
- Learning about the history of Maoris and how they lived
- Learning the Haka and knowing what the words mean and relating it to all the sporting events
- Eating traditionally prepared food
- Learning how to approach a Marae as visitor and guest.
- Learning how to greet with the touch of the nose.