New Zealand Day Fourteen: Rotorua: A Magical Evening At Tamaki Maori Village

New Zealand Day Fourteen: Rotorua: A Magical Evening At Tamaki Maori Village

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It was a sunny and warm evening my first day in Rotorua. I sat in the sunshine, the smell of sulfur filling the air, waiting for my bus to  the Tamaki Maori Village. The bus arrived at my hotel around 5:30. p.m.   After we made a few stops to pick up guests at other hotels, we were on our way to the Village.road in Rotorua

Our friendly  Maori guide and bus driver  was both witty and informative. He explained  about the culture of the local Maori community and its history  as we drove to the Village. Tamaki village entrance

I won’t spoil the role playing  experience we engaged in  for those who may be planning a visit. It was truly worth the admission price. We reenacted a scene from Maori history and tradition as we entered the village. entrance to Tamaki entrance

A traditional greeting ceremony was performed by the Maori community. I uploaded a video to my Youtube channel. Here is the link to the video of  the ceremony . Tamaki entrance

We entered the  Maori village situated in a grove of ancient trees. Tamaki Village trees

Local Maori explained  various skills, arts, and traditions of  village life. Maori cultural dance

All of the male guest participated in a  Maori war dance or haka. And the woman were invited to perform a traditional dance too.

There were a number of performance at each of the exhibits depicting a different aspect of the life of the folks who lived in the village.

We were shown how our traditional hangi meal was being prepared.

The interaction with the Maori guides was wonderful, they really wanted to show us  what it meant to be Maori and for us to take this knowledge with us.

 And it got even better. We moved inside to the  meeting-house where we were entertained with a number of Maori dances and performance. Here is a link to my YouTube channel to one of the performances.

We then were treated with a hangi feast.  I was seated with a wonderful group of people from the United States, Slovakia and the United Kingdom. We talked about our travels in New Zealand, life and the state of the world.

The most moving part of the evening was the emotional closing performances. They came from the heart of our hosts. The main guide  closing speech told us how what is important to the Maori is people. So true these words were and are. Here is another video from the closing ceremony.

It was getting dark as we left the meeting-house and boarded our buses. Our Maori driver continued to entertain us. He even led us in singing his favorite song. When he began, a rush of emotions flooded my mind. It was one of my favorite too. John Denver’s Country Roads.  I loved John Denver. I happened to be in Monterey Bay in California the day after his plane went down. What a tragedy. And it made me think of the tragedy in my life. Bittersweet were the memories of my sister and brother-in-law. I was so lucky to have traveled on four continents with her, But her loss is still unbearable at times. I felt her and my parents were with me on this bus ride back to my hotel. Here is a link to a video of the song.

It was late when I got to my hotel. I was tired and fell asleep thinking about another delightful day in New Zealand and the amazing hospitality of the Maori. Here is a link to some more photographs from my visit to Tamaki Village. New Zealand Day Fourteen: Maori village February 19 2019.


Ehara taku toa, he takitahi, he toa takitini  My success should not be bestowed onto me alone, as it was not individual success but success of a collective

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