Friday, June 25, 2010

A Ngati Mutunga Marae

It was a cold, grey, wet morning just on daylight when I came to a stop outside Urenui Marae, north of New Plymouth last week. I'm lucky these photos came out at all as it was pouring with rain and large trucks were rushing by, splashing me as they went. But in hindsight, I'm pleased I stopped on the roadside, as Urenui is a special place for Ngati Mutunga - it is their only remaining marae and has been a focal point for Ngati Mutunga activities and gatherings since the 1870s. It's fair to say it's the cultural heart of Ngati Mutunga. I love the way their three taonga - the ancestral houses of Mahi Tamariki, Te Aroha (both wharenui) and Te Titohea (wharekai), take command of the small hillock above the main highway.

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