A Greeting of the Heart and Soul

Image Courtesy Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua. 2007

While I often tout social media as being a place where I get lost in the abyss of things I don’t need to know about, every once in awhile I stumble upon a message that touches my spirit.

That was so this week, when I saw an image that spoke about the Maori greeting done in New Zealand. The image immediately spoke to me (similar to the one in this post).

I am mesmerized by the beautiful customs and traditions that so many cultures participate in, this is one of them…

Hongi – the traditional Maori greeting

This is the definition I found on Wiki…

hongi is a traditional Māori greeting in New Zealand. It is done by pressing one’s nose and forehead (at the same time) to another person at an encounter.

It is used at traditional meetings among Māori people and on major ceremonies and serves a similar purpose to a formal handshake in modern western culture, and indeed a hongi is often used in conjunction with one.

In the hongi, the ha (or breath of life), is exchanged and intermingled.

Through the exchange of this physical greeting, one is no longer considered manuhiri (visitor) but rather tangata whenua, one of the people of the land. For the remainder of one’s stay one is obliged to share in all the duties and responsibilities of the home people. In earlier times, this may have meant bearing arms in times of war, or tending crops, such as kumara (sweet potato).

When Māori greet one another by pressing noses, the tradition of sharing the breath of life is considered to have come directly from the gods.

In Māori folklore, woman was created by the gods moulding her shape out of the earth. The god Tāne (meaning male) embraced the figure and breathed into her nostrils. She then sneezed and came to life. Her name was Hineahuone (earth formed woman).

(Article credit to Wiki)

To see more amazing images of this greeting, visit here

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