In Roturua we were invited to spend a night with a Maori tribe and learn more about their culture and join them for dinner and a show.
Our tribe, waewae mo’a (translated as Sacred Feet) selected our chief and arrived to an informal greeting which included them giving a speech and singing to us and our chief giving a speech in return and our tribe singing a song too. We sang “Livin’ on a prayer”. We were then taken to have afternoon tea. This included shortbread, chocolate cookies, cakes and scones but the scones were more like doughnuts but either way very tasty!
We were shown our rooms for the night which were in their ancestor houses that feature beautiful carvings about their past and are designed to represent the ancestors. We were pretty excited as not only were the beds and pillows super comfortable but we got 2 pillows each!!
We were taught some child games of the Maori people which were really fun and we got way to into. One was a chant that involved sticks being thrown and the other was a game in which you left your stick standing where you were and run left or right to the next stick along based on whether left or right is called.
We also learnt how to source thread like fibres from plants which they did to make clothes. We added our fibres to a long plait that over 3000 other Kiwi Experiencer’s had made before us. We then learnt a song that was used to teach the 5 vowel sounds of the Maori language. We were to perform this later at dinner.
After some free time, during which played the stick games again, we went over to the tribes village where other groups were arriving. The Warriors greeted us in a traditional way and then we got to learn about some of their musical instruments, how to do the haka (though this is only for men) and about their weapons and training methods. They performed some songs, dances and a haka for us before dinner.
Dinner had been cooked under the ground in their traditional method and was an all you can eat buffet. The dessert was just as good too and of course included a Pavlova. After dinner it was time for those who came just for dinner and the show to leave and we were free to do what we liked. We all decided to go chill in the hot tubs, yes thats right, hot tubs! After a short soak and a while of sitting by the fire I eventually headed to bed.
The Maori experience was really interesting and a lot of fun. It was great to learn more about the Maori people and we had a good laugh along the way. It’s an expensive night but it’s all worth it for the experience if not the 2 PILLOWS!!