While in Rotorua we visited Tamaki Māori Village for an evening cultural experience.
Here our agents learnt traditional Māori games, the haka and Poi dance, enjoyed a traditional hangi (method of cooking where food is smoked underground) and were treated to a wonderful cultural performance. This included a mix of traditional and modern entertainment, music and dancing, including one of their favourite stories, the love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai.
This is what Tamaki Māori Village shared with us:
"The love story of Hinemoa and Tūtānekai has been told around the shores of Lake Rotorua for centuries. Māori legend has it that Tūtānekai lived on Mokoia Island in the middle of Lake Rotorua.
Every evening, Tūtānekai would play his flute and the sound of the music could be heard across the lake on the mainland at Owhata. Here, it charmed the beautiful and noble-born Hinemoa who lived there. When Tūtānekai paddled his waka (canoe) to visit the mainland, he met Hinemoa face to face and they fell in love.
From then on, every evening Tūtānekai would serenade Hinemoa with his flute from across the water. But Hinemoa’s people did not approve of the match, so they hid all their waka. However, this wasn’t about to stop Hinemoa – instead, she went about finding six large, dry, empty gourds as floats and decided to swim to the island.
Arriving at Mokoia Island, Hinemoa stumbled across a hot spring, jumping in to warm up and refresh herself after the long journey. At that moment Tūtānekai’s slave came over to collect water and Hinemoa lured him over, smashing his gourd and sending him back to his master. Tūtānekai flew into a rage and came to investigate, only to find Hinemoa waiting for him in the hot pool.
Like all good stories, the Māori legend of Hinemoa and Tūtānekai ends with the couple living happily ever after.”
A video from the evening cultural performance taken by Simone Papeake.
Visit Simone’s Bio for more of her videos, Photos and favourite activities.