Interestingly, on our travels in Rotorua, New Zealand, we discovered that there are several Maori tribes sharing their cultural heritage and view of the world with the ‘tribe of many nations’ (the visitors to their village from all over the planet). There seem to be some very successful Maori businesses creating opportunities for everybody in the tribe, including the younger people. Looking after themselves, their team, their customers and their community. This looks like an example of enlightened business (or, in our opinion, ‘business’ as it should be, where everybody wins and there aren’t any losers).
Another perspective is that the Maori are warrior tribes. Some historians say that they landed and colonised the people that were already here in New Zealand (including the Waitaha people). That seems to be controversial in New Zealand, especially as the Maori have been paid large sums by the government as compensation for their colonisation by the Europeans. Whatever the history, we are in different times now. Time to let go of the past and walk forward as one ’tribe’ called Humanity. What struck me about our visit to the Mitai Maori village is that they are proud of their warrior heritage – represented by the well known ceremonial war dance, the Haka (popularised on the rugby field) which is featured in the video above.
What I didn’t expect is that they would also bring alive an ancestral love story, performed through the touching song and dance of a man and woman who were representing the couple who gave birth to what was to eventually become the whole tribe (or Iwi). Many of their other dances were delightful celebrations to welcome visitors to the tribal village.
Whatever the truth and whatever the past, one thing I’m left with is a powerful message for the present day – an invitation from the Maori to the ‘tribe of many nations’ to greet each other, honour each other’s differences and meet in the spirit of peace.