Maori Culture

By Diana Ascarrunz

Hello everyone, this week on the program we explored Maori culture. We were welcomed by Tiaki our Maori guide for the week. For the first three nights, we stayed at the community center near Rob and Rangimaries home. On the first full day, we took a walk around their beautiful property and reflected on the things we wanted to let go of in life. The next day we participated in a sweat lodge ceremony. Each of the three rounds had a specific purpose. The first round was about gratitude. The second round was about letting go of things that are holding you back. The third round symbolized the rebirth that would occur once we left the sweat lodge. Tiaki introduced us to Matewai another member of the Maori community who happens to be an amazing singer. She taught us a traditional Maori song. The next day we performed the song to Kimo and his family as a sign of respect before entering their home which we would be staying in for the next 5 nights. Later that day we went on a hike to a waterfall and reflected on our friends and family back home. Tiaki and Matewai also taught us how to introduce ourselves in Maori that night. Kimo taught the guys a traditional Maori Hakka which they performed infant of the group. Kimos mother and little sister taught the girls how to make poi and a song with a dance to go with them. Another day we hiked part of Karioi and reflected on the women in our lives thinking of all the ways they have impacted us. Tiaki also taught us about New Zealand’s history focusing on the Maori perspective. The continuous oppression has taken a toll on the Maori community but they have persevered and focused on strengthening their community. Our final day in Ragland we helped make sure the trees the previous Carpe Diem group had planted were getting adequate amounts of sunlight. That evening Tiaki took us to the beach where he introduced us to Reiki, a local who has a passion for music and surf. Together they taught us the surf basics. On our drive to our next destination, we stopped at Extreme Zero Waste a site that gets rid of 85% of the waste that would normally go to landfills.

Taking some intentional time around Bridal Veil Falls thinking about what we would like to let go of and what we would like to bring into our lives.

Group pic with Tiaki and his son.

Windy day on the beach in Raglan.

Beautiful views.

Taking a walk up Mt. Karioi where we took 30 minutes of solo time to think about the incredible women in our lives.

More intentional time around the fire.

Gone surfing!

The girls learned a poi dance and song and then performed it for the rest.

The boys performing the haka they learned.

Learning how to introduce ourselves in Maori!