This week I want to look at people and organisations who have fought for the preservation and strengthening of Māori culture. Today’s post is looking at current events that address the theme.
Yesterday treasured Te Arawa kaumātua Mita Mohi passed away.
“Mohi (Ngāi Te Rangi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) was responsible for the establishment of the Mokoia Taiaha Wānanga in the 1990s. The wānanga was set up to train boys and men the art of using the taiaha.”
Alongside his wife, Mohi opened the first kōhanga reo in Rotorua in 1982.
In 2012 he was presented with the ‘Keeper of the Traditions’ award at the Waiata Māori Music Awards.
He has been a champion for Māori culture for decades.
Mitai Māori Village
Sidharth Malhotra is an Indian actor and model. He spent some time at Mitai Māori village in Rotorua recently.
“Being invited into the waka and wearing the traditional Maori outfit was a new and empowering experience. The Maori warriors at Mitai had such a strong presence and I was totally enthralled by them. It was so cool to be able to share that experience with them I am truly fascinated by it.”
Mitai Māori village is a place where overseas visitors and New Zealanders alike can experience some of the cultural aspects of Māori.
“The Mitai family is proud to have created a sacred and spiritual place that offers you an indigenous cultural experience like no other,” according to their website.
I would imagine that for some people experiencing this would wet their appetite to learn more about Māori culture.
Turanganui Schools Māori Cultural Festival
This festival was held last week for the 32nd time. Thousands of school children took part.
“After representing their school, kohanga reo or childcare centre, enthusiastic young kapa haka performers joined forces to present the traditional end-of-festival mass haka at the 32nd Turanganui Schools Maori Cultural Festival yesterday.”