I attended the Tamaki Herenga Waka Festival this weekend and will go there again for their third and last day tomorrow. Tis festival celebrates the Maori culture of New Zealand together with other Indigenous tribes from the South Pacific. It's been fantastic, spectacular, and simply amazing. I knew a bit about the Maori culture from several TV documentaries but when I came here I realized I know basically nothing.
The festival had typical Maori kai (food) and different arts and cultural aspect displayed. You could watch how the traditional wood carving is done. They had tattoo artists performing their skin art on whoever wanted a tattoo. The most interesting tattoo artist to me was Moko Smith #Uhi_tapu, who uses the traditional hand tool to hammer the paint under your skin. Fascinating. I'm considering getting a tattoo from him. Talk about a special, unique and meaningful piece of art. Then they showed how weaving is done with palm leaves. They showed and played typical children games. Traditional indigenous healings and treatments were shown. Outside you could take part in a waka (Maori paddle boat/canoe) tour. The most impressive and goosebumps-creating performance was or rather were - there are different groups - the Haka presentations. Oh My Gosh how beautiful. Not only did the singing that went along with the dancing give me goosebumps. I cried. Pathetic? Nah, totally touched by it. TOTALLY. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me the first day because that group was incredible. I did film the group of day two though and enjoyed their performance too. Here are two links to my videos. More videos can be found in my youtube channel.