Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Village Whare

Ohinemutu Maori Village on Rotorua's steaming lakefront, is one of my favourite places. I love wandering about the skinny streets, watching natural geothermal steaqm hissing up through gardens and gutters, the mud bubbling in nearby pools, the marae and the magnificent St Faith's Church. In among it all is this cute-as-a-button carved whare (house). I've always assumed it was part of one of the marae but on a recent visit, talking with one of the locals, they told me it is a private house that has been lovingly restored with a carved front and that someone does in fact live in it. It's such a lovely visual surprise, snuggled there among all the modern Western-stye housing. Wouldn't it be nice if more modern Maori considered doing this? How much more interesting our modern streets would look.

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