After our fun filled afternoon, we arrived in Rotorua with barely enough time to be picked up by Tamaki Maori Cultural Experience bus! Why were we doing this activity? Rotorua is the main area of Maori in NZ, although Maori culture is everywhere. The Tamaki Maori experience started out with a bus full of strangers from everywhere in the world; Sweden,Taiwan,Chile,Australia, USA, and more. Our driver told us we all needed to band together and elect a
"chief" to stand up to the warriors when we arrived at the Village. That chief was.......... Ta-da......Chief Steve! I was christened "Misschief". Dang right!
There were 5 other "bus chiefs" when we got there. They all took instruction in very serious protocol on Maori greetings. They had to stand tall and firm, rub noses with each other, not show fear. Let the ceremony begin. We were led to village were we learned a lot about the culture from long ago. We witnessed the food being brought up from the fire pit. (Brit Pit people- we got some changes coming!) They involved us in their games, their song, and then the chiefs led us to the dining room in the big house where we thoroughly enjoyed the Hangi Buffet Feast. Chicken,pork,mussels, all kinds of vegetables and sides, mostly cooked in a big underground pit. We sang and really enjoyed ourselves learning about Pre European Maori culture in such a fun interactive way. Here are some of the pictures taken at the village!