|The signed Treaty explained.|
|Many of the places in New Zealand have|
names like this. It is going to be challenging!
This is known as New Zealand's founding document which was signed on February 6, 1840. Unfortunately, like many treaties in the world involving the indigenous peoples, they are still disputing the meaning of some terms of it. It seems there are two signed version so: one Maori and one British. And guess what! They differ in the interpretation of what the governance means.
|This thing is huge!|
The Maori wanted the British to govern the non-native people who raising hell in the town now known as Russell across the bay. The British version claims to govern all people in the country. So you can imagine the many challenges to the treaty over the years. And it is still on going.
|Beautiful and intricate carvings on the bow and stern.|
This special waka is sheltered in the waka house near the shore so they can roll it out into the water for a special ceremony ever February 6th for Waitangi Day celebrations.
|She greeted us and explained the ceremonial|
procedures and how we should behave!
|Our Chief awaiting the arrival of the haka delegation. He was|
warned to be serious and not confrontational back to them!
I wonder what would have happened if he had!
We also visited the Treaty House and the carved traditional meeting house (TE WHARE RUNANGA) where there was a demonstration of traditional dance and music. Dennis was invited to be the "chief of the tribe of visitors" and had to perform chiefly duties on our behalf. This included accepting a peace offering and giving a speech which he did with eloquence.
|This is a haka. The first meeting is somewhat threatening as|
they show their strength before laying a peace offering on
the ground. You accept it by picking it up. Now friends.
The Maori tongue is an interesting topic. It is often depicted in tattoos and graphics. We learned that it is an act of defiance and only men are allowed to stick out their tongues. When they confront an unknown situation they thrust the tongue and make a loud sound to show their strength and determination. It is a challenge for strangers.
|No they are not kissing. Just touching nose to nose and|
forehead to forehead as a sign of peace.
They also use their eyes to express. It seems like they have smaller irises so there is more of the white eyeball showing. As they open their eyes very wide you see a unique expression. We learned that the women use their eyes and jut their chin to show disrespect or to challenge. I must say this is a look you cannot ignore as their eyes say it all! Most interesting!
The cultural performance included singing (waiati) stick games, poi, Maori weaponry as well as the famous haka.
|Only the men are allowed to stick out their|
tongues as a show of defiance and strength.
|Our Chief's words were appreciated by the Maori. WHEW!|
|I love their beautiful woven patterns found everywhere.|
|The traditional meeting house is being renovated.|
|I wouldn't want to meet these four in a dark alley!|
|A smaller waka|
|This is a very old waka|