Welcome to Ko Tane Living Maori Village.
Your Ko Tane experience begins in our replica village where we re-enact a traditional welcome ceremony and show you the ways of our ancestors. Rituals have a deep cultural and spiritual meaning for Maori people, but some can appear intimidating to non-Maori at first. We encourage participation and hope you will come away feeling you have been welcomed into our tribe and culture.
Our village (kaika) sits in a quiet forest glade, under the protection of the god of the forest, Tane Mahuta, from whom our village name is taken. Tane, the creator of all life in the forest, was personified and immortalised by our people as the provider of food, clothing, weaponry and medicine.
Forest birds, fish, shellfish and eels, edible plants and native rodents were the only food resources before the Pakeha arrived in New Zealand. Although mostly Maori lived in harmony with nature, as the seasons changed, and the annual migrations of birds took place, some non-migrating species were hunted to extinction. Skilful hunter/warriors would often venture at their peril into forbidden territory to follow migrating species.
Maori had a well-developed cultural tradition of martial arts, song, dance and games, as well as a profound spiritual understanding of the world through oral tradition, ritual and legend. Many rituals were constructed to ensure physical and spiritual safety. The most dangerous situation was when two groups met.
Your Ko Tane experience will begin with the ritual powhiri or challenge and welcome.