Maori people have a distinctive culture, much of which is based around the marae – the meeting place of an iwi (tribe) or hapu (subtribe). The word marae refers to the open ground in front of a wharenui (meeting house), although the word is sometimes used to refer simultaneously to the wharenui, the open space and other communal facilities.

Maori people have a distinctive culture, much of which is based around the marae – the meeting place of an iwi (tribe) or hapu (subtribe). The word marae refers to the open ground in front of a wharenui (meeting house), although the word is sometimes used to refer simultaneously to the wharenui, the open space and other communal facilities.

Hinemihi at Te Wairoa - after the Mt Tarwera eruption in 1886. Image from Te Ara. The Meeting House is now in Surrey UK

Hinemihi at Te Wairoa - after the Mt Tarwera eruption in 1886. Image from Te Ara. The Meeting House is now in Surrey UK

Ohinemutu Marae NZ, wij zijn hier getrouwd bij de Te Arawa iwi

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Maori wharenui | WS: A Tekoteko (Maori statue) outside the Ohinemutu Wharenui (Meeting ...

Maori wharenui | WS: A Tekoteko (Maori statue) outside the Ohinemutu Wharenui (Meeting ...

Interior of a wharenui (Maori meeting house) with carved and painted elements. 1880-1889

Interior of a wharenui (Maori meeting house) with carved and painted elements. 1880-1889

In Maori culture, a wharenui is a meeting house, one of the most important buildings on a marae, the interior is intricately carved, representing the people's ancestors and history, from the first wakas (canoes) that came to NZ over a thousand years ago..

In Maori culture, a wharenui is a meeting house, one of the most important buildings on a marae, the interior is intricately carved, representing the people's ancestors and history, from the first wakas (canoes) that came to NZ over a thousand years ago..

This is of the inside of a wharenui (literally translated as 'big house'), which lays on a Marae, which is an enclosed area of land where every special event in Maori culture takes place.

This is of the inside of a wharenui (literally translated as 'big house'), which lays on a Marae, which is an enclosed area of land where every special event in Maori culture takes place.

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