Rotorua is the hub of Maori culture in New Zealand, and just walking down the street you see evidence of this in a large contingent of Maori locals. And their identity remains strong; even chatting with my heli-sledging river guide Geni, she identified her tribe’s history and customs in the context of our conversation. It was at these cultural presentations though, that I gained a sense of the history and traditions of the Maori people.
Having been descended from the Polynesian islands, I see many similarities between the Maori and the Hawaiians. Where I sense the Maori are unique is in their continuous upholding of language, song, and dance even today. It is not entirely uncommon to see a Maori (male or female) with traditional facial tattoos, and many customary dances and rituals are still taught and practiced in daily life. There are even public schools that teach solely in the Maori language.

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  • Nora Dunn

    In 2006, Nora sold everything she owned in Canada (including a busy financial planning practice) to embrace her dreams of full-…

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