The Maori Meeting House was built around 300 years ago.  It is based n the body of man.  The door is the mouth, the window the eye and solid single beam down the centre of the roof is the spine and the ones you can see just under the roof – are the ribs.  Most of the carvings are male.  In fact the carvers are male as well.  You can always tell a Male carving due to the fact they stick their tongues out. To enter the Meeting House you have to remove your shoes.  You will find this happens at most homes all over New Zealand.  Women always sit behind the men.  Not because they are inferior. Because they can be better protected by their men in case of war.  Today this still happen. Many will also know that Maori Males have a lot of tattoos.  In days gone by this was to signify their life and what they had achieved with it.  The more they had, the higher the respect and more likely a father would let his daughter marry.  This is what our guide told us.  A woman would have a moko tattoo on her chin.  You can still see these today.  There have been some issues, however I like them.  Tattoos are part of their culture and here in Rotorua the Te Arawa Tribe is steeped in historical and cultrual meaning.  With amazing people and landscapes I have always been grateful to be able to live here.By the way…just so you know.  Rotorua is situated in an old volcano crater – cauldra. The mountain that was, erupted over 240,000 years ago.  We still have smaller eruptions, though not very often.  Needless to say the last mountain to blow up was Tarawera Triple Cone in 1886.  However that is another story to tell. These last two photos show a Whare – a home where Maori lived in centuries past.  Also two performers in their cultural costumes.

Source: Marae at Whakawerawera

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