<span class="hpt_headertitle">Powhiri</span>

Powhiri / Hokomaurahiri

Te Taenga   The visitors arrive

Wero The challenge is issued by the locals: If you come in peace, follow the rules

Karanga The call from the locals and the answer from the visitors: Who are you, where are you from and what is your reason for being here today?

Haka powhiri Symbolically “pulling the waka of visitors onto the marae”

Whaikorero The speeches outlining the issue at hand or purpose for the visit

Koha A small gift or payment

Hongi Tis the breath of life. A ritual greeting by lightly touching noses and sharing breath.

Kaitahi – Sharing a meal as one.

Te taenga

At most mainland marae, the manuhiri (visitors) assemble outside the waharoa (marae entrance) to confirm speakers and organise koha (gift).

Manuhiri may want to karakia (offer prayer) to ensure people’s cultural safety and for the pōwhiri to be carried out without disturbance. Both manuhiri and tangata whenua can say karakia to bring people together and focus on the occasion.

When they are ready, the women lead the group to the waharoa, indicating to the tangata whenua they are ready to be received.

At Kopinga marae, weather permitting, manuwiri (visitors) gather at the edge of the carpark, overlooking the path down onto the walkway to the marae.

If they wish to, that would be an opportune time for manuwiri to karakii (pray) to ensure everyone’s cultural safety and for the hokomaurahiri to be carried out in peace and without disturbance. Both manuwiri and t’chakat henu can say karakii to bring people together and focus on the occasion.

When they are ready, the women lead the group to the walkway as if heading towards the doors of Kopinga, where they will be met by t’cakat henu.

Wero (challenge)

Although not that common today, traditionally, wero were carried out to ascertain the visiting group’s intentions and were executed by the tangata whenua’s best warriors.

The wero involves a warrior from tangata whenua laying down a taki (dart), which is then picked up by the most senior male of the manuhiri.

At kopinga marae, it is not common to have a wero performed; because despite the island’s sordid history, it is assumed that today everyone comes to Kopinga in peace, and more often than not, gathering outside is not feasible in the face of sou’west winds or rain.

 

Karanga (call)

The tangata whenua caller (kaikaranga) calls first. A woman’s voice is always the first to be heard at a pōwhiri. The karanga sets the process in action and establishes the reason for the powhiri.
The t’chakat henu caller (kaikaranga) calls first. A wahine’s voice is always the first to be heard at a hokomaurahiri. The karanga sets the process in action and establishes the reason for the hokomaurahiri.

The manuwiri caller responds to the tangata whenua caller. This exchange of information through the karanga gives the manuwiri safe passage to enter the marae. It affirms the purpose of the gathering and it identifies who is coming and what their intention are.

References to the fabric of creation and those who have passed on are woven to fashion a metaphoric rope which is cast to the visitors to bind them to their symbolic waka, which is then dragged ashore by the tangata whenua.

The karanga is a lament and can be a very moving experience.

Haka pōwhiri

This part of a formal  welcome is usually reserved for really important guests to acknowledge the visitor’s or group’s mana. The Haka Powhiri is performed by the Tangata Whenua. The purpose of the Haka Powhiri is to symbolically pull the waka of the Manuwiri onto the Marae atea with the rope that was woven during the karanga and to uplift the mana (prestige) of the Tangata Whenua, their marae, iwi, hapu and their karapuna (ancestors).

Following this, the manuwiri are guided to their seats to enable the whaikōrero (formal speeches) to commence

At Kopinga marae, it is not traditionally part of the kawa to perform haka

Whaikōrero / mihi (speeches)

Traditionally only experts in the art of whaikōrero will stand to speak to the opposite group, although an esteemed guest may sometimes be asked to speak. This role is carried out by men.

The purpose of the mihi is to acknowledge and weave together the past, present and future, by acknowledging the creator, guardians, the hunga mate (the dead], the hunga ora (the living – those present at the powhiri) and laying down the take or kaupapa (the reason) for the Powhiri or event that will take place.

Depending on where the pōwhiri is held, the kawa (order of speaking protocols) may be either paeke, or tū atu, tū mai

  • Paeke:  The tangata whenua speak first, one speaker after the other.  The manuwiri then speak. When the last manuwiri speaker finishes, the speaking goes back to the tangata whenua to complete the kōrero.
  • Tū atu, tū mai: The tangata whenua speak first and then speaking alternates between tangata whenua and manuwiri.  Tangata whenua give the final speech.
The hokomaurahiri enables visitors and guests to be greeted respectfully and to become connected with Kopinga.

The ceremony takes place in Hokomenetai (the meeting house) around the Tuahu (altar) in the cenre of the room

T’chakat henu (Moriori) speak first, welcoming the guests and visitors. Then the manuwiri have an opportunity to respond.

  • Women may speak
  • Any language may be used
  • It is considered good form to follow each speaker with waiata

The tuahu is a place where gifts and tributes are placed. If you wish to bring a symbol of peace or something from your country you are welcome to place your gift on the tūahu during the ceremony. 

Waiata/oriori (song/chant)

The purpose of the oriori / waiata is to show that the people support the speaker and  what has been said, including the kaupapa (reason for the occasion/ meeting).

Tangata whenua open up the speeches and greet the manuhiri with karakia and mihi.

After a speaker has finished the whanau on his side (manuwiri or tangata whenua) will waiata. Then the next speaker arises and begins.

Singing a waiata after each speech is optional but highly recommended.

Koha (unconditional gift)

After all manuwiri speakers have spoken, the last of their speakers presents the koha to the tangata whenua on the marae ātea, by laying it on the ground in front of the tangata whenua speakers. This shows that they have no more speakers and have finished.

      • The koha is the first tangible contact between the tangata whenua and the manuwiri.
      • Traditionally koha were precious taonga or materials – pounamu, whale bone etc, korowai (cloaks) etc
      • Today, money is the normal form of koha. The koha helps with the upkeep and running costs of the marae.
      • The size of the koha show the mana of the Manuwiri.  
This ceremony is also the appropriate time for the offer of koha (donation towards hospitality).

Hongi 

The hongi is the first physical contact between the two groups.

The tangata whenua will indicate to the manuhiri to move in a certain direction, in line, to shake hands and to hongi (by lightly pressing noses and foreheads together and with the sharing of breath).

This practice originates from the dawn of time and is a symbolic reference to the first breath of life that was issued to Hineahuone by the Guardians – ‘Tihei Mauri Ora’ and shows the ‘coming together’ of the two groups to be united as one under the umbrella of the powhiri.
It is the mixing of the mauri of both the tangata whenua and the manuhiri.

At the conclusion of the hongi, people are free to connect, mix and mingle and foster relationships. Manuhiri merge with tangata whenua to become part of the marae’s whānau for the duration of the occasion.

The hokomaurahiri always concludes with a hongi (pressing of noses) and this is the first physical contact between the two groups.

The t’chakat henu will indicate to the manuwiri to move in a certain direction, in line, to shake hands and to hongi (by lightly pressing noses and foreheads together and with the sharing of breath).

This practice originates from the dawn of time and is a symbolic reference to the first breath of life that was issued to Hineahuone by the Guardians – ‘Tihei Mauri Ora’ and shows the ‘coming together’ of the two groups to be united as one under the umbrella of the hokomaurahiri.
It is the mixing of the mauri of both the t’chakat henu and the manuwiri.

At the conclusion of the hongi, people are free to connect, mix and mingle and foster relationships. Manuwiri merge with t’chakat henu to become part of the marae’s whānau for the duration of the occasion.

Kaitahi (shared meal)

This is the final stage of the powhiri. It is the stage where the tapu of the powhiri is removed by the sharing of kai. The tangata whenua and the manuwiri are now one. Food is shared to complete the formal engagement process.

The tangata whenua will normally deliver a karanga to invite the manuwiri to be seated in the wharekai (dining room).

A karakia for the kai is then said before eating.

As with the size of the koha given, the amount and types of food that are prepared for the powhiri show the mana of the tangata whenua.

This is the final stage of the hokomaurahiri. It is the stage where the tapu of the hokomaurahiri is removed by the sharing of kai. The t’chakat henu and the manuwiri are now one. Food is shared to complete the formal engagement process.

The t’chakat henu will normally deliver a karanga to invite the manuwiri to be seated in the wharekai (dining room).

A karakii for the kai is then said before eating.

As with the size of the koha given, the amount and types of food that are prepared for the hokomaurahiri show the mana of the t’chakat henu

 Whiria te t’chakat – weave the people together