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Queenstown' Maori legacy
Queenstown' Maori legacy
At the very beginning, there was nothing. Within the nothingness, there was only darkness. During this long period of oppressive darkness, the sky father, Ranginui, and the earth mother, Papatuanuku, brought into existence a number of gods. These gods now rule the various realms that make up the world of the Māori – these are the gods of fire, of war, of volcanoes and of the forest. They are the gods of mist and fog, of the wind and of the seas. Through their values, customs and culture, the Māori now pay homage to the earth mother, Papatuanuku, as well as their natural world, which nurtures all living things.
If you’d like to experience the spiritual, mystical wonders of the Māori tradition, a Māori Cultural Experience is a must-do. Queenstown’s Skyline Māori Cultural Show is one of the region’s most celebrated cultural events, combining traditional indigenous stories and cultural activities within a Kiwi Haka performance with an exciting gondola ride and a delicious NZ cuisine buffet dinner.
During your picturesque ride in the Skyline Gondola, you’ll experience stunning vistas of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu, as well as spotting locals and visitors paragliding and bungy jumping. You may even want to try your hand at a luge ride before the show! After experiencing all the thrills of the Māori Cultural Performance, you have the option of enjoying a buffet dinner at the famed Skyline Restaurant. Here, you’ll adore the mouth-watering NZ cuisine buffet while delighting in the awe-inspiring panoramic views that the restaurant is so famous for.
The Kiwi Haka show itself – well, you’ll have to experience it for yourself to truly understand just how wonderful it is. While sitting comfortably in an intimate, tier-seated theatre, surrounded by traditional carvings and decorations, you’ll be introduced to around six performers who will take you to another time and place with their entertaining – and often haunting – songs, stories and dances.
Your spiritual journey through Maori culture and customs will include:
The Welcome Ceremony
Powhiri – you will be welcomed to Queenstown with a ceremonial welcome reserved for prominent guests.
Kaiana – The Kaiana is a traditional challenge involving the strongest warrior determining whether you are a friend or enemy. As a token of peace, a dart is presented.
Karanga – is a call made by the women, once the peace token has been accepted. This powerful and emotional call is designed to be heard in the spiritual world.
Mihi – the Mihi is a native greeting, which pays tribute to the sky father, the earth mother and those lost in the past.
Nau Mai Haere Mai – this is an action song which signifies the conclusion of the powhiri. Men and women together crate a harmonious tune, stomp their feet and move their hands in a traditional manner.
The Stories and Traditions
Waka Hoi – Using the poi, the performers demonstrate a song that relays the story of the migration – when the first Māori arrived in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Poi – the poi were once used by Māori warriors to train for use of weapons (such as the patu), as it strengthened their wrists. These days, the poi are used by the women to relay their history and to inspire the young Māori people to continue the heritage.
Maori weaponry – here you will see the Taiaha (long club) and Patu (short club) in demonstrated use. You will see how these two hand held close combat weapons were used to train warriors. The Taiaha are considered extremely treasured items and were passed down from father to son. They are carved in the form of a brave ancestor.
Haka – the spellbinding Haka is still commonly used today. It was traditionally used for both war – where it was performed before a battle in order to show the enemy the warrior’s strength and prowess – and for conveying meaning in a variety of other settings, such as to greet guests or to celebrate achievements.
The final performance will combine all of the traditional Māori performing arts, including the titorea and tirakau.
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