The Whale Rider

By Witi Ihimaera

Maori Art

Traditional Maori Art was created using the materials available at the time. Some materials were wood, bone, flax, and feathers. Black, red, and white were the colors most commonly used and were featured strongly. The color red was symbolized as mana, which means prestige, power, and status. Red was mainly used on popular buildings and structures.

Maori Culture and Traditions

In the beginning a host of gods such as Tane Mahuta (God of the Forest) and Tangaroa (God of the Sea), and four others who are : wind, wild food, planted food, and mankind, were born to Rangi (the Sky Father) and Papa (the Earth Mother). They are remembered through song and dance. The Maori people steamed their food in underground ovens, a circular hole in the ground filled with very hot stones, and this method is still used today to entertain.

Glimpse - New Zealand Maori culture.

Maoris Today

In 2006, the Maori people were 15% of New Zealand's population. Around the 2000's, the Maori people were more diverse and dispersed than any other time in history. In 2006, 84% of Māori were living in urban areas, and only 16% in rural areas. Many Māori lived overseas, with over 70,000 in Australia and up to 10,000 in Britain.


Emily Angstadt and Emily Decker