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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The buildings of the Maori of New Zealand are unqiue in form and function. They are sybmbolic in form, ritualistic in usage and inherently sacred to the community who it collectively belongs to.

Here are some examples.

House name: Mahinarangi
Marae or complex: Turangawaewae
Location: Ngaruawahia
Tribe: Tainui
Usage: Official reception building for the Maori King, Tuheitia. Here below it is being used for a formal presentation from the Waikato University to distinguished Tainui people.



House name: Turongo
Usage: Official residence of the Maori King
Adjacent to the above Mahinarangi



House name: Kimiora
Usage: Large banqueting hall seating over 1,000 guests
At the end of the formal assembly area in front of the above Mahinarangi



One of the formal entry points into the marae complex. Apologies for the people in front, it was the only picture I could find.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The interior of a whare nui (Maori building) held at the National Museum of New Zealand in Wellington.

Note the extensive carving of figures (poupou) around the entire interior of the building. Many of these figures would represent ancestors and/or local or national deities. The central figures backing onto central posts would often represent central and/or eponymous ancestors important to the people who build the whare.

Painted ceiling rafters (kowhaiwhai) originating at the carved wall posts and extending right to the central apex of the roof would be painted with symbols relating to local history, traditions and stories.

Located between the carved wall panels are woven patterns (tukutuku) also relating to local history, tradition and stories. In the second photo on the back wall are two stepped patterns either side of the central carved panel. This is referred to as Poutama or the steps to enlightenment and knowledge. Modern Christians have appropriated it as the steps to god and heaven. However this is a misappropriation of a pre-European contact Maori concept.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Treaty of Waitangi Marae





Opening ceremonies with Sir Apirana Ngata leading a haka with his tribe Ngati Porou from the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

 

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Maori architecture is indeed unique, and it really is wonderful to see the many Maori buildings across New Zealand.
Here's a picture I took of a small wooden Maori statue in Rotorua
 

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Great topic. I remember seeing similar buildings in film "Whale Rider".
 
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