It was an ambivalent day, the day of my great grandmother Moewaka Jane Rapana’s unveiling, ambivalent how? Well, neither the day nor the weather could agree who was going to have first say about how events would pan out and eventually we left them to argue between themselves like siblings in a childhood dust up.
The first time I exchanged a memorable hongi was with a very distinguished maori gentleman at the Wellington Art Gallery (during a private showing of a Goldie exhibition). He looked uncomfortable standing in a line-up top heavy with
We are like a human tuna (or eel, in English) that snakes its way back down from the front of the wharenui along the right-hand side to where the tangata whenua greet us with a kiss and hug or with a hongi (the traditional Maori greeting featuring the pressing together of noses). I’m reminded of [...]
We waited expectantly at the gate entrance to Haranui Marae. We must wait until the call of the karanga is heard (this is the ceremonial call of welcome performed only by the women). Hearing the karanga indicates to us that we are free to approach our hosts across