Monday, January 24, 2011

Te Puia Cultural Centre Experience

Gushing waters, steaming vents, boiling mud pools, spectacular geysers and traditional Maori culture breathes at the Te Puia Cultural Centre in New Zealand, a place of powerful energies and Maori beauty. The mission at Te Puia is "To be the centre of knowledge and excellence for the preservation, presentation, education and growth of traditional expressions of Māori arts, crafts and culture".The following are just a few of the Te Puia experiences.

Every day in Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley geysers erupt, mud pools bubble and steam hisses. Over 500 pools and 65 geyser vents, each with their own name, are found in the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley in Rotorua.
The most famous geyser in the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley in Rotorua, is the awe-inspiring Pohutu Geyser, meaning big splash or explosion. Pohutu erupts up to 100 foot high and up to 20 times per day.

The Pā, commonly referred to today as ‘marae’, is the centre of Māori tribal society and wellbeing. A marae is the traditional meeting place of a tribe. It is where people come to talk, sing and dance, pray, host guests, wed and weep for their dead.

Maori performance art, kappa haka, is one the most entertaining forms of storytelling. Posture dance, song and rhythmic movements of the poi (a light ball on a string), action songs and traditional chants tell the ancient and recent history and stories of the Maori people.

Thanks to the carving and weaving schools at Te Puia, sacred meeting houses across New Zealand have been restored and woven art has been exhibited overseas. But most of all, the ancient teachings of our ancestors have been preserved and continue to thrive.

Pikirangi Māori village was built at Te Puia as a snapshot into pre-European Māori society. The village includes whare punga (houses made from punga trees), waka maumahara (canoe cenotaphs), pātaka (food storage houses), and an array of food cooking and preparation techniques including the traditional Māori hangi (earth oven) pit and drying racks.

Whether you come to the Te Puia Cultural Centre for the natural beauty of the boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers, to learn about the ancient Maori culture or to be entertained by the kappa haka, you will not be disappointed. Join Celtic Tours on a South Pacific Vacation to learn more about the exciting natural beauty and cultural history of New Zealand on our 24 Day Southern Explorer.

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