Day One of the Dows-Weinberger sojourn in NZ’s north island included Te Puia, a Maori cultural school and geothermal area. A few learnings of the morning from our guide Shawn.
1) Maori is a generalized term used by the Europeans which means “normal.” To this day there are distinct groups/families who honor and keep sacred their heritage. There are 12 such groups nationwide. Distinctions in the language reflects their relationships to the world.
2) The Kiwi is nearly extinct. It’s a Big Bird with a LONG beak. We saw one here.
3) Every vowel in the language is sounded and every syllable must end with a vowel.
4) Facial and body tattoos signify one’s tribe.
5) Maori schools are kinesthetically based. Thought influences actions. The curriculum reflects academic knowledge framed up in skills necessary to preserve the culture.
The area is also a geothermal environmental center, and we were treated to Mother Nature’s wonders.
Back at our hotel we enjoyed another bit of thermal water,, relaxing before our evening of Maori education and a hangi. More later.. . .