“He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!”
“What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!”
“He tangata takahi manuhiri, he marae puehu.”
“A person who mistreats his guest has a dusty Marae (meeting house)” — meaning, someone who disregards his visitors will soon find he has no visitors at all.
Hospitality, respect for and interest in other people has top priority in Maori society. However, there are rules! As outsider you cannot simply enter a Marae (meeting house) and mingle; you have to wait for the invitation of a tribal member.
On the Waitangi Treaty Grounds — the historic place where Maori chiefs first signed their accord with the British Crown — visitors are usually invited by the guides to enter the Marae on the photo above, which represents not only one tribe but the unity of Maori throughout New Zealand. It’s easily the most beautiful building I’ve entered in Aotearoa!
Photo details (please click on the image for best quality):
Canon EOS 60D, 17mm, ISO 4000, F9, 1/15 sec., no filter, no flash.
Panorama stitched out of 5 single exposures.
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