Who are the Maori?

The word "Maori" has 2 meanings: the first is the indigenous people of New Zealand, the second is the name of the language of this people.

The history of the Maori as an indigenous people of New Zealand is not only very ancient but also intriguing. Archaeological finds and their genetic analysis suggest that these people arrived in New Zealand and settled more than 1000 years ago from the islands of Eastern Polynesi (where they come from) on the Waka canoe, which earned the fame of brave and resourceful sailors in history.

Any visitor to the islands of New Zealand will be surprised how many streets and districts have names derived from the Maori language. For example - Anehunga, Uwangamomon, Nguru? At first it seems that it is impossible for an ordinary person to pronounce these names, but in fact, the Maori language has a logical structure and, unlike English, has very consistent pronunciation rules. By the way, here's how the basic phrases sound:

Kia ora hello

Nau mai, haere mai Welcome

Kei te pehea koe? How are you?

Kei te pai good

Ka kite anō See you

Today, Maori is one of the official languages ​​of New Zealand and is considered the country's national treasure. Maori is spoken by about 23% of New Zealanders, while the Maori people now live only 14% of the total population of the country. There are Maori language schools and special channels that broadcast their programs in this language.

The Maori are from Polynesia and due to this they have their own unique culture.

For example, Maori greet each other with a touch of their noses!

A very great impression in ancient times on enemies, and today - on travelers is made by Haka - one of the types of ancient dances performed by Maori warriors traditionally on the battlefield. Fierce at first sight movements (stamping with feet, protrusions and rhythmic slaps) accompanied by loud cries-songs are intended to symbolize the pride of the tribe, strength and its unity.

Kapa Haka - or traditional performance - is an important cultural part of the Maori heritage. Literally the term means to form a ruler (kapa) and dance (haka). The performance itself includes an incredibly emotional and powerful mix of song, dance and singing performed by cultural groups in marae (special performance areas), in schools, and during special events and festivals.

However, the most unique and spectacular cultural attribute is Ta Moko - the art of tattooing and a unique expression of Maori cultural identity. Each Ta Moko reflects a person's ancestry and personal history. In earlier times, it was a sign of social rank, knowledge, skills and the right to marry.