Keeping our marae warm

To the Maori, the material culture of a people are its treasures, and therefore must be cared for and respected. As the people caring for these objects remain connected to their past through care and use of the objects, so too do the objects remain connected to their people. Maori call this keeping their treasures warm. 

 

So how does one keep the marae warm in this sense? For us and our partners in Tokomaru Bay, it means welcoming visitors to the marae and Ruatepupuke II, spreading understanding of the marae's symbolism, and exhibiting other Maori treasures close to the marae.  

When you attend an event at the marae, touch the greenstone in greeting, or remove your shoes and step into the wharenui itself, you are taking part in the process of keeping an important treasure vital and warm.

© José Moré, Chicago News Cooperative

© José Moré, Chicago News Cooperative

Background image: Port Moresby by Hitchster. CC BY 2.0 / cropped and desaturated from original

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