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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Follow your desire as long as you live...for the wasting of time is an abomination of the spirit." -- Ptahhotpe, 2350 B.C.

341--New Zealand: Greetings from the Ngapuhi Warriors
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 02 2006 - 06:30 PST
cherie writes: The Ngapuhi believe that all things have a vital essense or "maori." To learn more about the beliefs of the Maori inhabitants of New Zealand I jumped aboard a waka (canoe) with a local Ngapuhi tribe. After meeting the chief and getting paddling lessons, I headed for the sacred island of Motu Maire to watch the "friendly warriors" perform a ritual welcoming ceremony.

After I was welcomed to the Ngapuhi tribe, the warriors greeted us with songs, prayers and chants. They waited patiently as a few tourists and I tried to come up with something to give them in return. We ended up singing "You are my sunshine" (since we didn't know the words to any another song except "row, row, row your boat".) Our poor singing skills may explain why the Ngapuhi warriors are sticking out their tongues in many of the photos. Click on Taiamai Tours to find out more.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie became a part of the Ngapuhi tribe on Motu Maire in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.  (I need to work on my bulgy eyes.)

Cherie became a part of the Ngapuhi tribe on Motu Maire in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. (I need to work on my bulgy eyes.)

The Te Hoenga Waka (canoe) rests on the shore of Horotutu beach in Paihia.

The Te Hoenga Waka (canoe) rests on the shore of Horotutu beach in Paihia.

Paddling away from civilization to an uninhabited island called Motu Maire.

Paddling away from civilization to an uninhabited island called Motu Maire.

Bringing the waka (canoe) to the tapu (sacred) island.

Bringing the waka (canoe) to the tapu (sacred) island.

The Kaihautu (chief) gives instructions on how to use the hoe (paddle.)

The Kaihautu (chief) gives instructions on how to use the hoe (paddle.)

On the sacred island we learn how white skinned people were greeted by the Ngapuhi centuries ago.

On the sacred island we learn how white skinned people were greeted by the Ngapuhi centuries ago.

The Ngapuhi, a native tribe to New Zealand, consider themselves "friendly warriors."

The Ngapuhi, a native tribe to New Zealand, consider themselves "friendly warriors."

The journey across the sea is full of spirituality and tradition.

The journey across the sea is full of spirituality and tradition.

Proud.

Proud.

Intimidating.

Intimidating.

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Honored.

Honored.

Sunny walks back to the waka.

Sunny walks back to the waka.

A warrior with his waka.

A warrior with his waka.

Thoughtful.

Thoughtful.

Brave.

Brave.

Ngapuhi tattoos.  These aren't painted on for the benefit of tourists.

Ngapuhi tattoos. These aren't painted on for the benefit of tourists.

What lurks behind that bush?

What lurks behind that bush?

Now that's quite a welcome!

Now that's quite a welcome!

The men intimidate with their tongues out while the women bulge their eyes.

The men intimidate with their tongues out while the women bulge their eyes.

The Ngapuhi challenge.

The Ngapuhi challenge.

A glimpse of the past.

A glimpse of the past.

A fearsome twosome.  You know you are welcomed into the tribe when the leading female sings.

A fearsome twosome. You know you are welcomed into the tribe when the leading female sings.

After the ceremony, the Ngapuhi perform karakia (prayers) and whaikorero (speech making.)

After the ceremony, the Ngapuhi perform karakia (prayers) and whaikorero (speech making.)

Sunny, the friendly warrior.  Just don't make him mad!

Sunny, the friendly warrior. Just don't make him mad!

Trained in the art of ancient warfare.

Trained in the art of ancient warfare.

On the paddle back to Horotutu, we stop to catch some mussels, a favorite Ngapuhi food.

On the paddle back to Horotutu, we stop to catch some mussels, a favorite Ngapuhi food.

Holding onto the past, but looking towards the future.

Holding onto the past, but looking towards the future.

A waka journey with the Ngapuhi is an unforgettable experience.

A waka journey with the Ngapuhi is an unforgettable experience.

Ngapuhi hoes (paddles.)

Ngapuhi hoes (paddles.)

A Ngapuhi idol.

A Ngapuhi idol.

The waka paddles.

The waka paddles.

The waka awaits its next journey, helping foreigners understand New Zealand's native Ngapuhi tribe.

The waka awaits its next journey, helping foreigners understand New Zealand's native Ngapuhi tribe.