Monday, February 22, 2010

Making an Entrance

When Rotorua's leading tourist attraction Te Puia created a new mutli-million entrance and extension a few years back, they went all-out on the construction of a spectacular new entrance. Unfortunately it was raining the day I swung by last year, but this shot will give you some idea of the stunning carvings that adorn the gateway. The entrance is marked by a set of five carved waharoa (gateways), each slightly smaller than the one before it. According to Maori tradition, each represents the five stages of development in the creation of the physical world. Through the waharoa, visitors enter Te Heketanga-a-Rangi (Heavenly origins), a large, serene space filled with many more amazing carvings, that represents the spiritual beliefs of Maori. It was opened in 2007 as part of Te Puia's major re-development that has, to my mind, turned it into one of the best Maori cultural attractions in the country. If you'd like to see more photos of the entrance, click on Te Puia in the label line below.

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