Maori Customs and Art

By Briona and Danielle

Maori Language

  • Polynesian language
  • >Official since 1987
  • >Member of the Eastern Polynesian languages
  • >9% of Maori's people could speak the language fluently in 2001
  • People use the English language, the Maori language, and New Zealand sign language to speak to each other
  • Wrote in formal redigir


Maori Legends and Stories

  • Maori history was passed down orally and it is still being passed down today
  • According to Maori legend, Kupe, along with his comanion Nqahue, was the first explorer to find New Zealand
  • The first sign of land they saw was a giant white cloud in the distance
  • They named th land mass Aotearoa which means "land of the long white cloud."
Kupe in the Hokianga - Roadside Stories

Maori Art

  • Lively and multicultural art scenes
  • Architectural carving
  • Interior designs of marae (a meeting place)
  • Charcoal rock drawings
  • Visual art: carving, tattooing, weaving, and painting
  • Rock paintings were "classical"
  • Painting was mostly used for minor decorating
  • Beautiful whakairo (the art of carving) carving in wood