New Zealand’s indigenous people are the Maori, a race descendent from Polynesia who has inhabited the country for an estimate 700 years. New Zealand has a proud and prevalent indigenous culture that is evident in everyday life. You may notice that your universities motto is in the Maori language – this is just one example of the fusion of Maori and Pakeha (white people) cultures that comprises Kiwi society.
The most well known Maori tradition carried out by Pakeha’s today is the haka. The haka is a group dance performed to intimidate rivals and is often used by the New Zealand football team just before a game. In official ceremonies, the New Zealand national anthem, God Defend New Zealand, is often sung in Maori and English. Pakeha artists and authors often use Maori themes and motifs when producing their works. Other examples of the Maori culture can be found in song, dance, art, food and many other things in New Zealand culture.
The Maori culture has a long and fascinating history. If you have some spare time, it would be worth your while undertaking a Maori studies course offered at many universities and polytechnics around the nation. At the very least, you should pick up some of the language – Kiwi’s frequently use Maori words and phrases in every day conversation.
New Zealand’s culture is a harmonious blend of the native Maori and the adopted Western cultures. To truly experience Kiwi culture, one must immerse themselves in its indigenous culture. Further exploration of the indigenous Maori culture is an interesting and rewarding experience.