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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Waitangi Day celebrations

Friday New Zealanders celebrated Waitangi Day, a holiday marking the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between native Maori (pronounced MAH-dee) peoples and the British. The document guaranteed the Maori rights to their lands and British citizenship, but differences in the treaty's two languages have been cause for debate to this day. Ceremonies include cultural demonstrations, religious services, and political speeches.

The Maori king welcomes Prime Minister John Key onto the Te Tii marae ("sacred ground") with a hongi, the traditional Maori greeting.

Waka (Maori canoes) ceremonies reenact the calling ashore of the British governor for the treaty signing.

People gather in front of a wharenui ("meeting house") to listen to speeches by the local iwi ("tribe" or "clan").

6 comments:

only a movie said...

Cool! Thanks for sharing. Love the photos.

Cristin said...

Thanks for the cultural lesson! I love learning about that stuff...

hmstrjam said...

queequeg says umalunga!

erin@designcrisis said...

Am I the only one who's been saying "Mow-ree" for the last bazillion years? How could I have been so wrong?

Raina said...

It's the "r" that trips non-natives up. It's trilled so that it sounds like a "d" when pronounced.

And "wh" has a "f" sound which took me ages to get used to.

Pigtown-Design said...

The most amazing thing I saw was when one of the NZ teams (not the allblacks) played a rugby game in cardiff and they did a haka before the game. i almost fell off my seat! that and the fact that the maori guys are twice the size of the wee welshie team.