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Maori magic recreated

Mai Ora, a traditional Maori dancers troupe, dressed in their traditional attire performed in the capital and was a show stealer.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2004 13:14 IST
Asmita Aggarwal
Asmita Aggarwal

Dressed in their traditional attire the Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand) dance group, who performed at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Tuesday, was a show stealer. Mai Ora is a traditional Maori dancers troupe and the name signifies well being and peace for all.

The five-member team was brought here by the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute in New Zealand as part of an effort to showcase the diversity the country has to offer. From playing the Putatara (the shell) to the Koiwi (the flute), the members of the troupe were carrying a pair of Poi (a string with a loaded ball at the end used to roll the wrists) that was sometimes hanging from their traditional skirts – Piu Piu. “The tattoos signify the hierarchy and the more you have them on your body the higher your status is supposed to be,” explained the Country Manager (India), New Zealand Tourism Board, Kiran Nambiar.

He says that though only 17,000 tourists visit New Zealand in a year, it remains a popular destination as one can savour nature here in its pristine glory. “New Zealand was the first country to allow women to vote. But what we are trying to do here is to tell people if you want to shop this is not the right place. But if you are a nature lover who wants to go for long walks along a beach where you will be the only one, then New Zealand is the place for you,” says Nambiar.
Those present included New Zealand High Commissioner Caroline McDonald with her partner Simon Mark, an artistic photographer, and Czech Ambassador Jaromir Novotny.

Maori dances

Powhiri: A traditional welcome dance performed by all tribes

A dance where the songs are depicted by the actions of the hand, done in the belief that every part of the body has to be brought to life by action

A dance performed by men to prepare themselves for war, while women perform it in honour of the men going to war

Whakangahau: A spirited dance aimed at involving the people around to join in the celebrations

First Published: Mar 04, 2004 13:16 IST