A Marae is usually made to honour an ancestor, so whenever you walk through a marae, E hoa, you are walking through a person. This is always something to keep in mind in the way you conduct yourself in a marae. Kia Ora ra e te wharnz, if you haven’t been raised on your papa kainga @displacementofmāoripeoples, are new to Aotearoa, or haven’t been kultured (yet), this is a quick reminder about marae etiquette in light of our renowned Te Wiki o te Reo. Writing from my perspective is with my experiences of my marae in Poneke (shoutout Takapuwahia) and visiting many throughout my life. In saying this, funny you may assume - Māori are not all the same! Different iwi have different marae protocols.
Your first visit to a marae will begin with a powhiri, a traditional form of welcoming to bring manuhiri into the place of the mana whenua. This can differ from each rohe but a few things stay the same; bring putea for the koha. Tane will sit in front of wahine who may also wear long skirts to cover their whare tangata. This is done because in te Ao Māori, you cannot mess with the power of women, @Hinenuitepo.
First things first, waiho o hu ki waho i te marae - this might be the most known and simplest practicalities. Not only is this in place for hygienic reasons, considering we step on a lot of tiko outside, but the wharenui also inhabits a sleeping place. But, for the most part, outside the marae is the land of Tumatauenga and you carry with you this energy (won’t get too deep because the ipurangi and the wharepukapuka are free/indigenous people are not your teacher/this info might blow your mind up and make you question everything, then inherently better your understanding of social context that influences how Māori perceive the world - mkay?). So, if you come into my whare you better waiho o hu ki waho.
Thank your ringawera even if you aren’t a fan of the kai because guess what, buddy? You’re still going to eat it. For one reason, after the powhiri we share a meal to lift tapu and in turn whakanoa errybody, this also shows that manuhiri are no longer guests and are welcome to the marae - so eat up! A sign of respect is finishing your kai and this can be made even more so if you get up and sing a waiata in appreciation of their hard mahi.
He rau ringa e oti ai. When it’s time to wash dishes, you bet it’s time to wash those damn dishes and if you want to be the man, go ahead, wharepaku is all yours. In the wharekai you can whakamau o hu as this is a place of noa. You can also grab the vacuum, use the fancy dishwashing system if your marae is like that, wipe the tables, and leave everything better for the next manuhiri to arrive.
Sure, waking up from somebody else’s snoring could be hoha, but this is all worth it in the true spirit of communal living under the decorum of tikanga Māori.
Kuputaka - Glossary
Papa Kainga - Whānau home base
Manuhiri - Guests
Mana whenua - People of that area/marae
Whare tangata - House of humanity/womb/uterus
Hinenuitepo - Goddess of Death/the baddest to ever do it
Tumataeunga - God of War
Waiho o hu ki waho i te marae - Leave your shoes outside the marae
Ipurangi - Internet
Wharepukapuka - Library
Whare - House…(surely you know this one)
Ringawera - Cooks
Tapu - Sacred
Whakanoa - To make normal
Whakamau o hu - Wear your shoes
Tiko - Shit
He rau ringa e oti ai - With many hands the work will be finished
Hoha - Annoying