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Old Aug 15, 2010, 7:14 PM   #1
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Default Te Puia (Maori Cultural Center)

A visit to the Te Puia (Maori cultural center) gave us an introduction to the Maori culture and history. This museum has schools that teach traditional Maori wood carving and flax weaving. Each of the totem heads decoration tells a story.

One member of our group was elected to be our chief. It was his job to accept a challenge from the Maori Warrior. In this case to pick up a leaf he threw on the ground. Our chief had to pick it up while being threatened by the warrior with the spear and look him in the eye and return the leaf to him. Upon completion of this task he was greeted warmly by the warrior, a Conch was blown and we were invited into the Wharenui (meeting house) to see traditional Maori dances and games.

We saw the ferocious Haka (war challenge), Tititorea (Stick games) where 8 sticks fly from 4 different directions and the seductive Poi dance.
During the performance my flash batteries died and while getting them replaced I missed photographing some of the performances.

The faces that the warriors make are intended to intimidate and frighten their enemies. The bulging of the eyes is one of the grotesque facial gestures that they employ. The Haka dance has been made known throuout the world by the famous NZ rugby team “The All Blacks”.

Photos following taken with K-7 and Tamron 18-250.
















Maori Canoe.


Te Whakarewarewa (Geothermal Valley). Rotorua is a thermal hot spot. The smell of Sulphur is very strong here. Geysers and bubbling mud pots are another prominent feature in the region.
Photos below taken with K-7 and Sigma 10-20mm.




Below is a link to more pictures:http://keltech.zenfolio.com/p116218313

I hope you enjoy!

Lou
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 7:33 PM   #2
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Don't know much about the Maori culture except for seeing the "scary eyed" faces in travel books etc...thanks for that introduction. It's interesting to me how so many cultures around the globe share common issues such as good vs. evil, celebrations of love, giving thanks, etc. Makes you wonder in spite of it all how come there is so much conflict

Your pictures and travelog are great as usual Lou. Great compositions--love the detail on the totems.

Jehan
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 8:47 PM   #3
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Very interesting shots - love the totem poles and the geyser. Mud pots are always fun to photograph, I can watch them for quite a while.

What a fascinating trip you had!
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:47 AM   #4
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Thanks for more wonderful photos from your trip - fascinating insight into the culture and the landscape, and so well-photographed!
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelpee View Post
Don't know much about the Maori culture except for seeing the "scary eyed" faces in travel books etc...thanks for that introduction. It's interesting to me how so many cultures around the globe share common issues such as good vs. evil, celebrations of love, giving thanks, etc. Makes you wonder in spite of it all how come there is so much conflict

Jehan
Jehan ain't that the truth! I guess it's been going on since man first emerged from the cave and will probably end when we destroy ourselves.

Thanks for your nice comments.

Lou
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 7:29 PM   #6
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Harriet - These mud pots smell like rotten eggs and I don't think you would want to linger longer than needed.

Mole - The Maori people seem to have been integrated into the general population more successfully than the Aborigines of Australia. I'm glad you are enjoying these travel photos.

Lou
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Old Aug 16, 2010, 8:23 PM   #7
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Well done series, Lou-

Thanks for including us in your travel plans.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 17, 2010, 7:27 AM   #8
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Thanks Sarah! I am happy to share them with you and glad you enjoyed them.

Lou
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