A Powhiri is a welcoming ceremony between the visitors and the people of the marae. This is only performed by a woman.
Yesterday before we entered the Marae all the girls were addressed to stand in the front and all the Men/Boys (Warriors) stood at the back. During the Powhiri one of the women/wahine of the Marae and said something in Maori to welcome us on the Marae and Ana-Lei who was representing our school had replied back in Maori. As we approached the Wharenui it was if we were in an army.
The Powhiri sounded like a war cry which is used to call upon soldiers to fight a battle. When a Powhiri is performed the voices of the ladies are in high pitch. During the Powhiri to me it felt as if we were in a war, but in a war of peace. The Powhiri is a very important event to the Maori people because it welcomes the visitors and takes away all the sacredness in you. This was most of the school’s first time experiencing a Powhiri.
The Powhiri was a really good experience for us that are not Maori.