One of the highlights of my year of many highlights was the pōwhiri, or Māori welcoming ceremony. And I am now pleased to note that it’s now available for video streaming! I’ve completed a video guide (ah, the teacher in me) so you can see the elements of what is occurring, and I bolded the portions that were the most touching to me.
0-1:00 visitor Karanga whakautu (response to our off camera opening call)
1:36- 3:34 Tangata whenua whaikōrero (host speech), Ray DeThorne, Chief Marketing Officer of The Field Museum
3:45-4:57 Waiata (song), OPRF Gospel Choir singing “Makanaka”
5:11-11:10 Host speech, Joe Podlasek, LCO-Ojibwe/Polish
11:11-12:48 Jingle Dress dancers with drum song
12:49-18:24 Host speech, Stephen Isoye, OPRF Superintendent and Jahmari, OPRF student
18:36-19:09 Waita, lead by Daejia, OPRF student (Note: this was my favorite song I learned it New Zealand. It means “Love, Faith, And Peace Be Among Us All”)
19:32- 20:55 Manuhiri (visitor )speech, Niko, Te Kāpehu Whetū student
20:56- 21:50 Manuhiri waita (visitor song)
21:51-27:39 Manuhiri speech in te reo Māori, Ralph Ruka, Te Kāpehu Whetū educator
27:40-30:40 Manuhiri speech in English, Ralph Ruka, Te Kāpehu Whetū educator
30:41- 32:10 Manuhiri waita (visitor song)
33:30-39:10 Marianne Craven, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, US State Department, perhaps some of the most kind words ever uttered about me
39:11-42:12 Joe Podlasek speech
42:54-51:53 Speech and presentation of koha (gifts), Raewyn Tipene, CEO of Te Kāpehu Whetū
52:50-55:10 Whakaratarata (Reception Line) Most powerful part of the ceremony: the kisses and hongi (pressing of noses). Every person in the room participated–it went on for quite a bit longer. My students said this was their favorite part!
After the ceremony, was the Hākari, or food, that lifts the weight of the sacred ceremony. All of the students from New Zealand and OPRF took off their shoes and entered the marae, and prayed and sang together. To say it was special and sacred, is to state an understatement.
E hoa ma, ina te ora o te tangata
My friends, this is the essence of life