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POWHIRI Rituals of Encounter

Published by Wotz Wot Ltd, 3 Moore Street, Cambridge, New Zealand. This book is copyright. Except for the purposes of fair reviewing, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any forms or means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Infringers of copyright render themselves liable for prosecution.

ISBN 0-9582759-3-9 First published 2006 Written by Jayne Matenga-Kohu & Jude Roberts Edited by Maria Love Artwork: Katherine Quin Printed in New Zealand by ZOOM! Digital Print & Design ŠWotz Wot Ltd 2006

Contents Introduction Pöwhiri Pöwhiri & Ngä Atua Mäori Kawa & Tikanga Gathering of Manuhiri Matataki/Wero/Taki Karanga Haka Pöwhiri Whaikörero Waiata Koha Hongi & Harirü Kai Häkari Kaimahi & Ringawera Glossary Bibliography

4 7 8 9 10 14 17 22 24 32 34 36 39 40 45 48

Introduction Essentially, the pöwhiri is the formal process in which two sets of people meet and greet each other. While practices may vary tribally, the philosophical intentions remain the same between the hunga käinga or tangata whenua (the hosts) and the manuhiri or manuwhiri (the visitors); to clear tapu impediments and establish the purpose of meeting. In traditional times, the pöwhiri signalled whether these visitors arrived with peaceful intentions or not. The hosts are not only responsible for the safety of their collective but also for the maintaining ongoing dialogue and relationships with the visitors. Nothing was left to chance. The marae traditionally, was the venue for such encounters. It provided a structure that not only serviced the needs of the present but also brought the merging collectives into a realm of spiritual remembrance and reverence. The past, the present and the future are woven into one, using the structural art-forms, te reo Mäori, genealogy and the sharing of breath.


If hui are not held on a marae, other settings will be converted and transformed for similar use. There are no ‘hard and fast rules’ and this book by no means covers the full depth of tikanga and kawa associated with pöwhiri. What it does do is provide some flexible guidelines, generic to rituals of encounter that are grounded in basic Mäori values. These include: § § § § §

Respect for the spiritual dimensions (expressed in karakia and observance of tapu or reverence). Ancestral connections (expressed in whakapapa and whanaungatanga). Connections to the land (expressed in links to whenua, awa, moana, maunga). Care and love towards others (expressions of manaakitanga, aroha, matemateone). Peace and unity (expressed in acts of rangimärie and kotahitanga).

All are designed to allow and create space for ‘open’ discussion to take place kanohi kite kanohi – face to face.


Po can be translated as a ‘venture

into the unknown or new experienceÂ’.

Whiri is derived from the word Whiriwhiri meaning, the act of

exchanging information and knowledge.


POwhiri The pöwhiri relates to the rituals of an encounter between two groups of people, those who are the hosts (hunga käinga or tangata whenua) and those who are visitors (manuhiri or manuwhiri). This ceremonial form of welcome is important as it clears away any tapu impediments to the meeting and ensures the host group has opportunity to learn the intentions of the visitors. Although pöwhiri generally follows a similar format, individual whänau and marae may follow variations of this. The variations usually reflect the hosts tribal kawa and tikanga concepts.


Powhiri and Nga Atua Maori At every juncture of the ritual atua and tïpuna are present to influence the quality and manner of the gathering. Pöwhiri includes several ritual practices that are sourced to and governed by, various atua.

Kawa and Atua • Tümatuenga governs the kawa of the wero. • Papatüänuku, Hineahuone, and Hinetïtama hold the kawa of the karanga. • Täne-te-wänanga and Tü-te-ihiihi influence the kawa of whaikörero. • Täwhirimatea, Tänemahuta and Tümatauenga hold the kawa of the marae ätea. • Rongomätäne hold the kawa of the whare tipuna. • Hineteiwaiwa and Rongo hold the kawa of ngä manu tïoriori. • Tahu, Hinenuitepö and Rongomaraeroa govern the kawa of kai häkari.


Kawa and Tikanga

Boundaries and Practises Kawa can be explained as the boundary in which a particular practise transpires or takes place. Kawa polices a practise. Tikanga implies that there is a correct way to do things that involves precedence based on past observations or whakapapa. “By my practise, you will know me” is a saying that illustrates this point as does “what we do (tikanga) determines who we are.”


Gathering of Manuhiri Before a pรถwhiri, the manuhiri gather outside the gateway entrance to the marae. If the visitors do not know each other it is common practice to introduce and greet one another before being welcomed onto the marae. This whanaungatanga practice supports kotahitanga or unity, meaning all go onto the marae as one - one mind, one heart. The collection of a koha to support the kaupapa (occasion) of the day is undertaken. In the past, koha may have consisted of food or taonga. Today, a koha is more likely to be in the form of money. Once the koha has been collected, the group will ascertain who the kaikรถrero (speaker) will be. The koha is usually given to the last speaker, who will present it on behalf of the group.


When everyone is ready, the manuhiri present themselves at the gate entrance with women at the front and children flanked closely by them. The men stand at the back although these roles reverse as they are seated. As manuhiri wait for the pรถwhiri to begin, it is polite not to initiate any movement onto the marae until after the karanga (call) has started.


Waewae Tapu The pöwhiri recognises that everyone has with them their own tapu. When entering onto a marae for the first time, one is acknowledged as being waewae tapu - entering their first footsteps onto the marae. Therefore, even if manuhiri are adept in their ‘cultural’ knowledge and expertise, they are expected to tread wisely, in respect and humility of the mauri, mana and tapu of the hunga käinga. In this aspect the role of pöwhiri is to join each other’s sacredness, together.


The Hapu and Powhiri Protection and Safety The protection and safety of the peopleÂ’s collective mauri and mana is imperative, for much can go wrong if unsafe practices are permitted. Therefore, as tangata whenua, the hunga kainga determine the tikanga/kawa of the marae and the roles of those associated. The first voice heard, the karanga, will spiritually weave together these threads of protocol to ensure a safe passage for all concerned.


Matataki/Wero/Taki In the time of tïpuna Mäori, pä (fortress) were constructed on commanding sites that afforded clear views of surrounding lands. This provided, amongst other things, an early warning of visiting groups. When spotted, warriors from the pä were dispatched to meet the manuhiri to determine whether their intentions were friendly or hostile. This ritual was known as, matataki, wero and taki or challenge.


The Wero of Today Today the wero has now taken on a more ceremonial role. The practise is largely confined to important gatherings reserved for visiting dignitaries. During pöwhiri, the kaitätaki will approach and challenge the manuhiri as they near the pä waha o te marae or the gate. Once the kaitätaki has demonstrated his skills and observations, he will lay the mänuka (dart) on the ground as an offering. The placing of the dart was termed wero or taki. Once placed the kaitätaki will await the response of the manuhiri. To accept and show that they had come in peace, manuhiri move forward and pick up the mänuka, openly displaying it throughout the pöwhiri process.


Te Kawa o T체matauenga Te Matataki - wero - taki The arts of T체 Tau채 (traditional school of weaponry) might be viewed as a simple routine involving basic strike and block movements. However, these skills take many years to learn and perfect. During the wero, kait채taki actions portray animal forms and characteristics. These are designed to create uncertainty and unease, and to draw out any fighting spirit hidden by the manuhiri.


Karanga The first voice heard by both manuhiri and hunga käinga is that of the kuia karanga or female caller of the hosting group. The kuia karanga has the dual role of establishing the tapu and activating the mauri of the gathering. Karanga maioha is the term applied to her call. It invites manuhiri to gather to the marae ätea so that their company can be witnessed by atua and tïpuna alike. Included is also a description of the kaupapa of the gathering and whakapapa references to commonly held tïpuna. The kuia will call in respect of maungarongo (sacred mountains), awa tapu (sacred rivers) or moana tapu (sacred oceans and seas), as well as the marae and whare tipuna (ancestral house) that shelters her and her people.


Karanga tïwaha is the term applied to the karanga performed by the visiting kai karanga. This karanga usually acknowledges the whare tipuna and reasons for the hui. Thereafter the caller instructs manuhiri to pause to pay homage to those who have passed before them, and those who are yet to come.

Kaikaranga Roles and Processes Whilst karanga is being undertaken, the wähine among the manuhiri lead the ope onto the marae. A number of kaikaranga may call back and forth from both sides, but the last karanga is offered by the tangata whenua. This call is termed karanga whakatau. It acknowledges that both manuhiri and hunga käinga now stand in common with atua and tïpuna alike. Once complete, manuhiri are seated and wait for the whaikörero or the ritual of speech making to begin.



Every kuia karanga has a unique call and affinity with its meaning and purpose. The tone and content of a karanga can vary from iwi to iwi. However the essence and the spiritual significance remain the same. Some areas will not karanga after dark, others will karanga a waiting group of people onto the marae even when there are visitors seated and whaikรถrero has begun.


Powhiri and Mauri Te mauri o te marae, or the vital life force of the marae, is the binding agent that validates a groupÂ’s beliefs and values, histories and traditions. It is activated in times of ritual such as pĂśwhiri by hosting kuia karanga. In her exchange with visiting callers, she will weave patterns that create a state of tapu, allowing mauri to be present to the occasion.



is important because without it


cannot be achieved.


Haka Powhiri As part of the ritual of pöwhiri, some tribes throughout Aotearoa will perform a haka pöwhiri. This haka is undertaken by the hunga käinga following the wero and karanga. The practice is likened to the ritual of hauling a waka to shore. The manuhiri are representative of the waka, whilst the rope used to haul them onto the marae ätea is spiritual, ‘woven during the karanga process’. The purpose of haka pöwhiri is to uplift the mana of the host group, their marae, iwi, hapü and tïpuna.


Haka Powhiri na Ngati Porou Tënä i whuia Taku pöwhiri e rere atu rä Ki te hiku o te ika Ki te puku o te whenua Te pane o te motu Ki te whakawhitianga i Raukawa Ki te wai pounamu E…i...aha tërä e! Haramai koe i te pöhiritanga A taku manu! Haramai koe i te pöhiritanga A taku manu! He tïwaiwaka ahau nä Mäui! Tïori rau e he ha! He tïwaiwaka ahau nä Mäui! Tïori rau e he ha! Ko töku aro i tahuri mai Takina ko au! Takina ko au! Ko tou aro i tahuri mai Ko toku aro i tahuri mai Takina ko au! Takina ko au! Porou koa! Ko Hamo te wahine koa! Ko Tahu koa! Ko Hamo te wahine koa! Näna i tohatoha ki Niu Tïreni ka hï poki

Begin with a swing My call has gone out To the tail of the fish To the belly of the land To the head of the island By the crossing at Raukawa To the land of the greenstone waters The call has gone out So come at the welcome Given by my bird Come at the welcome Given by my bird I am a fantail of Mäui! Chirping restlessly, here & there I am a fantail of Mäui! Singing, flitting here and there I turn myself to you You have challenged me! Turn yourself to me I turn myself to you You have challenged me! It is Porou (-rangi) Hamo (-te-rangi) is the woman Tahu (-Pötiki) is the brother! Hamo (-te-rangi) is the woman The children have scattered and cover New Zealand Welcome, welcome Welcome, welcome My gathering, hei!

Haere mai, haere mai Haere mai, haere mai Taku hui, hei!


Whaikorero A whaikörero is a formal speech of introduction and acknowledgement. In its purest form, whaikörero is an art; a dramatic expression of mana and wairua. Whaikörero delivery is governed by two kawa, which are determined by tribal grouping. In some tribal areas the format of tau utuutu is practiced while in others, päeke is the mode.

Tau Utuutu

(tü mai, tü atu, tau hokohoko, whakawhiti)

Under this process kaikörero take turns to speak; first the tangata whenua, then the manuhiri. They will alternate until the final speaker from the tangata whenua has finished. Tau utuutu tikanga is practiced by iwi within Tainui, Ngäi-te-Rangi, Tüwharetoa, Te Arawa, Whanganui and some hapü within Ngäi Tahu rohe (tribal regions).



(pä harakeke, taiäwhio) Under päeke, all tangata whenua whaikörero first and manuhiri speakers follow. Once the last speaker of the manuhiri has finished, a speaker from the tangata whenua will end the whaikörero. Päeke tikanga is practiced by iwi in the Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Northland, Pöneke, Rangitäne, Taranaki and some hapü within Ngäi Tahu rohe.

He Whakaarara Kia hiwa rä! Kia hiwa rä! Kia hiwa rä ki tënei tuku Kia hiwa rä ki tërä tuku Kei whakapürua koe ki te toto Papaki tü ana te tai ki Te Rëinga Eke panuku! Eke Tangaroa Hui e! Taiki e!


Be watchful! Be wakeful! Be alert to this terrace Be alert to that terrace Or someone will wound you and make you bleed The tide gathers to Te Rëinga Move on! Enter Tangaroa Together! It is done!

Content of Whaikorero When whaikörero are spoken on the marae the kaikörero opens with a tauparapara or a karakia. This is followed by acknowledgments to atua, the land, the marae, the iwi, the hapü, the hunga mate (people that have passed on) and the hunga ora (people that are living). Reciting of whakapapa during a whaikörero reaffirms the connection and bond between people and the land. Visiting kaikörero represent the mana of their iwi, hapü and whänau. It is their duty to inform the tangata whenua of the reason for their visit, address the kaupapa of the day, introduce their iwi affiliations and acknowledge the tangata whenua by use of whakataukï (proverbs) and whakapapa appropriate to the people and occasion. Once all the acknowledgements have been said, the kaikörero will end his whaikörero with a waiata.


He Tauparapara Uira te rä, wewero te rä Ngä tangata whakaririka Mamau ki te taura e Kia tü matatohitia ake Taku tü matatoro e O ihu, o waka, turuki, turuki Paneke, paneke Turuki, turuki, paneke, paneke Tënei te tangata pühuruhuru Näna i tiki mai whakawhiti te rä Hüpane, kaupane, hüpane, kaupane Whiti te rä!!

The sun sparkles, the sun glows Every one get ready Grasp the rope Stand to give the order I stand to give the order The prow, the vessel, together, together Forward, forward Together, united, forward, forward This is the hairy one Who has made the sun rise Up this step that step, this step, that step The sun rises!

There are several varieties of tauparapara, each chosen as to their suitability of the occasion. Some are specific to tangihanga, while others are more general. Additionally, others are used strictly by the hunga käinga or manuhiri.


Mana and Powhiri An essential outcome of pรถwhiri is mana, for it is mana that measures the quality of the occasion and the achievement of the kauapapa (purpose). Those who conduct or lead the rituals of encounter, are responsible for ensuring a high standard of performance and delivery, for it is on them that mana is measured.


Whaikorero and Wahine In some tribal regions women are permitted to whaikörero on the marae ätea as opposed to the roro whakamahau (veranda) of the whare tipuna, where it is more common for them to speak. Such women are those who have the appropriate whakapapa, plus the necessary credentials and a mandate from their hapü to be mängai körero (speaker). The tribes that give senior women mandate to speak include Rongomaiwahine, Ngäti Kahungunu, Ngäti Hine, Ngäti Porou and Te Whänau ä Apanui.


Mihi Kotukutuku-Ariki o Te Whanau a Apanui

Mihi Kötukutuku, who lived at the turn of last century, was attending a tangi in Te Arawa where women are not allowed to speak on the marae. The hosts had opened the oratory, and now it was the guests’ turn. The men of Te Whänau ä Apanui were in a dilemma, because the old lady outranked them all and was properly their first speaker. After a pause, she stood, and launched into a chant. Seconds later, Te Arawa men, led by Mita Taupopoki, were on their feet yelling in outrage, cursing her and telling her to sit down. The old chieftainess serenely ignored them, and continued her speech to the end. When finished she looked over to the local elders and addressed them with all the pride of her descent, “You Arawa men! You tell me to sit down because I am a woman, yet none of you would be in this world if it weren’t for your mothers. This is where your learning and your grey hairs came from!” And turning her back on them, she bent over and flipped up her skirts in the supreme gesture of contempt.


What this story fails to emphasise is the fact that Mihi Kötukutuku was not only senior in whakapapa to the men of Te Whänau ä Apanui, but she was also senior to Mita Taupopoki and his relations of Te Arawa. Mihi Kötukutuku claimed descent from Tamatekapua’s first-born Tühoromatakaka, while the whole of Te Arawa descended from Tühoro’s teina, Kahumatamomoe. Mihi Kötukutuku had little choice but to speak, for not to do so was in itself an offence, to her mana and that of her people and ancestors.


Waiata Waiata serve to compliment, endorse and support what the mängai körero has said. Styles of waiata are extensive in their range and can include: • • • •

Waiata tangi (songs of lament) Waiata aroha (songs of love) Oriori (lullaby) Pätere (chant)

The origins of waiata reach back to a time that involves the trickster Mäui Pötiki (Mäui the last born), and his brother-in-law Irawaru, whom Mäui changed into a dog after Irawaru outsmarted him on a fishing trip.


Waiata Tangi o Hinauri On returning to his käinga (home) Mäui was asked by his sister Hinauri where her husband was. Mäui told her that she could find him down on the beach. And that if he didn’t respond to her calls, then to use the call Moi! Moi! This he said, was sure to bring Irawaru to her side. Hinauri went in search of her husband and following Mäui’s instructions, she found Irawaru changed into a dog. Saddened by the deceit of her brother and the loss of her husband, Hinauri climbed a cliff and performed the first waiata tangi ever heard in this world. When finished, she took her life by drowning.


Koha There are some regional variations around the laying of the koha. However, in most areas, the koha is laid on the ground by the last kaikรถrero for the manuhiri. This is usually done after the waiata is sung. The tangata whenua will karanga and/or thank the visitors for their gift. Some areas will not allow a koha to be laid down at night.


Origins of Koha The ritual of tä koha originates with ngä Atua and the stories of creation, for it was their gifting or koha that bought the world into being. In the story of Hineahuone we are told that ngä Atua gathered for the purpose of gifting (tä koha) to the first human-being those things they saw as necessary to her pursuance of life and living. • • • • • •

Io Matua gifted wairua (spirit) and toto (blood). Täwhirimatea gifted the lungs. Tümatauenga gifted the qualities of bravery and courage. Whiro gifted disease and pestilence. Täne-te-wänanga gifted the intellect. Rua-te-pukenga gifted thought and reason.


Hongi & Hariru When the ritual of whaikörero is complete, the mauri or vital life force of the occasion is retrieved by the hunga käinga by way of the last speaker. Thereafter, manuhiri proceed with the harirü (hand-shake) and hongi (pressing of the nose). Some women may kiss the visitor on the side of the cheek instead of a hongi, while others may press noses twice or three times instead of once. Whether you harirü, hongi, kiss or do all three, this ritual completes the greeting process.


Origins of the Hongi The hongi is sourced to two practices. The first relates to the creation of human-kind, where the breath of life was shared by atua with the first woman, Hineahuone. The second relates to the sharing of the breath of mind. ‘Ihu ki te ihu, rae ki te rae’ ‘Nose to nose, forehead to forehead’ The term ‘rae’ (meaning forehead) is symbolic of that place where wisdom and knowledge gathers. As the nose presses one to the other, so too does the forehead.


Tapu, Noa and Powhiri Throughout the ritual of pรถwhiri a state of tapu is maintained and is not removed until manuhiri are called into the whare kai, where food takes up the role of restoring a state of noa.


Kai Hakari When all have greeted one another, a karanga will be issued from the whare kai. This signals the manuhiri to enter and dine with their hosts. The sharing of food serves two purposes. Firstly, it is a reflection of the mana whenua and mana tangata. Secondly, food is seen as a medium that lifts the condition of tapu placed upon the pรถwhiri process, to restore it to a state of noa, allowing all participants to return to everyday life. Manuhiri are always fed first therefore elders and speakers from this group will lead the way into the whare kai. Grace (karakia) is said before eating begins; a person from the host group will usually signal time for this ritual by tapping the table several times with a spoon or knife.


Kaimahi and Ringawera Providing and offering hospitality ensures that manuhiri will return to that particular marae. Therefore all services, processes and protocols provided must be of high standard. The kaimahi (workers) and ringawera (cooks/caterers) are more than workers, they are recognised as ambassadors of hospitality. Their role is no less important than that of the mängai kÜrero or the kuia karanga and visitors often sing their praise during the ritual of poropoaki (farewell).


Manaakitanga & Powhiri Manaakitanga permits the hunga käinga to urge their mana forward through practices that reflect their wealth, abundance and willingness to share. It is the true measurement of a people’s ability to extend their aroha and to reaffirm their whanaungatanga.


Tapu, wairua and mana, all form a state of being that allows for and ensures, protection and safety of all during the rituals of encounter. It is through these states, that the mauri, vital life force of everything and everybody, is able to be sustained and nurtured. At every junction of ritual, Atua and tïpuna presence are acknowledged. Each of their respective domains give reference to a foundation, or a divine truth, of tangata Mäori genesis.


These belief systems are referred to as Iho Matua Mäori, or cultural philosophies. They give explanation and expression as to why a practise is valued. Understanding these concepts influences the quality and manner in which tikanga and kawa are implemented during a pÜwhiri.


Glossary Aroha Atua Awa Hapü Harirü Hongi Hui Hunga käinga Ihu Iwi Kai häkari Kaikörero Kaitätaki Kanohi kite kanohi Karakia Karanga

Love Supernatural / god / goddess River / stream Sub tribe Handshake Pressing of noses / sharing of breath Meeting or gathering Host group / people from that area Nose Principal Tribe Meal of feast proportion / to eat Spokesperson / orator Single warrior (of wero) Face to face Prayer / incantation Call (from a woman during pöwhiri)


Karanga maioha Karanga tĂŻwaha Karanga whakatau Kaupapa Koha Kotahitanga Kuia Kuia karanga Mana Mana tangata Mana whenua Manaaki

Mängai korero Manuhiri /manuhiri

Karanga performed by the host group Karanga performed by the visiting group The last karanga called (by hosts) to settle all Purpose / subject Donation / gift Unity Elder woman Elder woman caller Integrity / prestige Prestige and authority designated to the collective group of that area Authority over land (land owners/guardians) To support / give hospitality / take care of / uphold the mana of the collective who are providing the hospitality Speaker or mouthpeice Visitors



Marae 채tea Matemateone Maunga Maungarongo Mauri Moana Noa P채 P채eke Poropoaki Rae

The ancestral meeting ground, commonly referenced to a M채ori meeting house & associated buildings The area in front of the meeting house Affection (expression of) Mountain Sacred mountain Life force Sea / large lake Neutral / every day use Fortress /stockade Speechmaking / oratory where all local speakers talk first followed by visitors Farewell / to take leave/ speechmaking upon departure Forehead


Rangimärie Tangata whenua Taonga Tapu Tau utuutu Tauparapara Te reo (Mäori) Teina Tikanga Wero Whaikörero Whakapapa Whakawhanaungatanga Whänau Whare tipuna Whenua

Peace /peaceful Hosts/ people of that land or area Treasure Spiritual restrictions /sacred Speechmaking / oratory where local speakers talk first then alternate with visiting speakers Spiritual chant used in speech making Language / the Mäori Language Youngest brother or sister / junior member Custom; the way things are done / practises Formal challenge The art of formal speech making / oratory Genealogy / inter connectedness between all living things To connect kinship ties Family Mäori Meeting House / Ancestral house Land / placenta / afterbirth / country


Bibliography Harawira, Wena. Te Kawa o Te Marae, Reed Publishing (1997). King, Michaeal. M채ori, Reed Publishing (1983). King, Michael. Ng채 Iwi o Te Motu, Reed Publishing (1997). King, Michael. Te Ao Hurihuri, Reed Publishing (1975). Mead, Hirini Moko. Tikanga M채ori, Huia Publishers (2003). Salmond, Anne. Hui, Reed Publishing (1975). Tauroa, Hiwi and Pat. Te Marae: A Guide To Customs & Protocol, Octopus Publishing Ltd (1986). Walker, Ranginui. Marae; A Place to Stand, Te Ao Hurihuri (Ed.) M.King, Reed Publishing (1975).


Powhiri Rituals of Encounter  

Powhiri-Rituals of Encounter, introduces and walks the reader through the process & practices of a powhiri (NZ Maori formal meeting encounte...