The long and intriguing story of the origins of the indigenous Maori people can be traced back to the 13th century, the mythical homeland Hawaiki, Eastern Polynesia. Due to centuries of isolation, the Maori established a distinct society with characteristic art, a separate language and unique mythology.
“My language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul”
Defining aspects of Maori traditional culture include art, dance, legends, tattoos and community. While the arrival of European colonists in the 18th century had a profound impact on the Maori way of life, many aspects of traditional society have survived into the 21st century.