Hello Everyone !
Are you relishing ice creams and mango shake? I am having my share of sunshine during summers.Summers are synonymous with vacations.This time during my school ,I used to wait for my vacations to explore new places .Each summer vacation was a fun filled adventure .What better than taking away bunch of memories and stories to narrate for your friends ?
Keeping with the holiday theme, I was fortunate enough to experience Maori culture in Mumbai.I attended the Pure Newzealand event which gave me a glimpse of their culture .I had the fortune of meeting Vienna and Tanniko Nordstrom the talented stylist and photographer duo behind Soldiers rd portraits .The event took place in Mahalakshmi racecourse at tote on the turf.
The event started with the host introducing Vienna and Tanniko Nordstrom .He gave us an insight about their portraits and lineage with maori culture.The endearing journey of the maoris began as they discovered northland(the north end of newzealand).A waka(traditional maori canoe) was their means of transport which helped them establish on northland.
They also explained about the food habits of maoris which was dependent on nature.So the maoris based along the coastline consumed more of fish and seafood.The maoris settled on interior forests consumed vegetables (corn,yam and breadfruit)and cooked in pits covered with stones and near hot springs.They are an absolute fan of good food and enjoy cooking and serving the community.
The traditional maori clothing involved cloaks which were made of fur .They were of utmost importance and adorned by high class. They also showed us a piu piu which was a wooden skirt .The cloak displayed was lined with their classic Tanniko embroidery.They also wore interesting feather headgear and special greenstone necklace and matching earrings.
Another interesting things for them were tattoos.Maori Tattoos have a deep significance and meaning behind them.Mens facial tattoo are referred as moko and women’s facial tattoo are ngutu.They are representative of the paternal and maternal lineage and history and various life stages .A certain symbol is designated for the face,hand etc.I got a hand tattoo along with a portrait with the cloak and headgear.
They also gave us an idea about haka dance form through an interesting video.
Making a Poi
After the narration we had a fun activity on our itinerary.It was making a poi .Poi is a traditional musical instrument ,which was historically used to carry the eggs of the moa bird.Nowadays it is used in cultural dance forms and music.I was thrilled to follow the steps and guidance from Vienna and make my own poi.It was fun singing and playing with poi.These are the steps .It is so easy and one can make it at home too.
Portrait with Bollywood actress Diana Penty
The successful making of poi was followed by a waitata .The event was graced by a renowned bollywood actress Diana Penty.She was exuberant and lit up the audience with her smile.Vienna and Tanniko were meticulous and they dressed Diana as a maori.At first they painted her lips with a black lipstick.They then put a moko on her chin.They carefully pinned her hair and added feathers to it .They made her wear the cloak too. It was fun to experience the whole transformation live.If you would like to see the final portrait ,here is a link . Diana was also gifted a greenstone necklace which made her gleam.I also got the chance to get a tattoo on my hand and get a portrait too.
It was a pleasure to interact with Vienna and Tanniko knowing more about their culture.They told us about how maoris consider the head to be sacred .They also told us about how they loved draping a saree.If you would like to check out their profile for a maori portrait here is a link.
The event was followed by a sumptuous meal and some interesting goodies.
Overall the window to maori culture was a learning experience for me.It made me explore the glorious New Zealand and Maori culture.My father has been to New Zealand quite a few times and I could relive all his stories and memories through this event.If you are planning on a summer vacation then you must definitely visit New Zealand .Stay tuned for more blog posts coming your way.
Love you all !