Ways to Experience Maori Culture in Christchurch
Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand, have had a deep-rooted and enduring influence on the country. From visits to Maori meeting grounds (marae) to performances of traditional songs and dances, here are just a few of the Maori experiences in Christchurch that can offer visitors insight into the Maori people and culture.
- Witness a Maori traditional welcome ceremony (powhiri) that usually takes place in front of a Maori meeting ground.
- Practice a Maori greeting that involves touching noses and foreheads (hongi).
- Observe song and dance performances, such as war dance (haka) and a dance in which performers rhythmically swing a ball that is attached to a short rope (poi).
- Combine a visit to a traditional Maori village with a guided tour of a nature reserve, where you can spot kiwis—a native New Zealand bird that holds a special place in Maori culture—in their natural habitat.
- Dine on a traditional Maori feast (hangi), made with food cooked over hot stones in a hole in the ground, which is covered to create a natural oven.
- Sail aboard a traditional double-hulled canoe (waka) in the company of Maori crew and learn about Maori maritime customs and boat-building techniques.