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Mitai Maori Village

Wednesday, 3 January 2007 : Filed under: Rotorua E-Mail This Article

Maori Wariors in War Canoe
Maori wariors paddle war canoe (waka) up river – Rotorua, New Zealand

At Mitai Maori Village, visitors are treated to an authentic Maori experience including a hangi feast and traditional cultural performances.


Comment by josh — January 3, 2007 @ 9:47 pm

In Rotorua, Bethany and I went to Mitai Maori Village for an all evening Maori cultural experience. It was really cool, with the focal point being a hangi dinner, which is a dinner slow-cooked underground for several hours.

First we gathered outside at the hangi pit and were shown our dinner as it cooked in a large hole. There were whole chickens, legs of lamb, potatos, and kumara (New Zealand sweet potatoes) among other foods sizzling underground. We were pretty hungry, and this made it worse.

After seeing our food, we were led down a river through the woods. The source of the river was water springing through the mountain ground and the river was full of trout, a common fish in New Zealand freshwater. Soon a war canoe (waka) was headed upstream, paddled by Maori warriors as shown above. The warriors got out of the waka and headed to an authentic Maori village site that had been escavated and restored. Here they performed for us, and taught us about Maori culture.

Finally we were able to eat. The food was excellent, and there was lots of it. It felt a bit like eating Thanksgiving dinner. After dinner it had gotten dark and we were taken on a bush walk through the forest where we saw glowworms among other things.

While the experience was definitely put on for tourists, and had a bit of that feel, the setting was very natural and authentic and everything was very well done.

Comment by Clara — January 3, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

Wow! How very interesting! Exactly what is a glow worm? What an interesting evening–entertaining as well as informative. You were probably starved by the time you ate, so the food was especially tasty. And after you were full, you got to have a little exercise.

Comment by Peg Moore — January 3, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

Fascinating! And all kind of eerie, it seems. Would make for a good backdrop for a scary movie! ;-) Or for a “Survivor” or “Lost” series. How cool that you and Beth got to experience it–something so extremely different from anything you’re used to. And the food–mmmm! If you were hungry *before* you were led through the woods, you must have been famished by the time you got back! I see the two men in the picture have on “Jon’s and my” necklaces. Cool.

Comment by josh — January 4, 2007 @ 12:04 am

Glowworms are an insect larva that glows in a similar way to a firefly. Areas with lots of them look pretty cool in the dark.

Comment by Sheryl — January 4, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

Its sounds like a very fine trip. It sounds like you and Bethany are having a fun time in NZ. I put your web site address in my christmas letter—-so if you get comments from some one you do not know it may be a friend of mine.
I am enjoying your website!!!

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