"Ko te wahine te kaitiaki o te whare tangata." Women are the guardians of the house of humanity.

The central role of women in Maori society rests on their connection to Papatuanuku, the earth mother, the element from which all life emerges and is nourished.

The status of women (mana wahine) is pivotal to the spiritual, emotional and cultural wellbeing of Maori society, and is inherent in a woman's role as te whare tangata, the carrier of future generations.

The sacred powers of te whare tangata are immortalised in the ritual of the pito, whereby the whenua (afterbirth) is returned to Papatuanuku to retain the link with the land that provides sustenance for the coming generations.

In Maori tradition, the status of women is considered equal to the status of men. Te ure tārewa (honouring the line of male ancestors) is balanced by te whare tangata (nuturing future generations) (Source)

Without women in the Maori culture it would be impossible to have meetings, greet other tribes, and have families. Maori women are often over-looked but they play a key point of the culture with dance and song. The art of poi, which was first a strengthening tool for the men, the women turned it into a dance, a very beautiful one. Women brought new ideas to the culture.

VIDEO Traditional Haka

Responses to "Women in Maori Culture: the sacredness of women (With Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    hhhmm don't agree with the statement that " maori women are often over looked..." I haven't seen much evidence of this. Male and female work together on many things child rearing, gardening fishing maintenance work around the home, etc

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, we have been overlooked though as time changes, our men are becoming more aware of who we are through our traditions and our culture...

  3. Unknown says:

    Woman give's life,Time has not change a thing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    For our Maori People times have changed!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Along way to go before our men see us for who we are and not for what they can get.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Men need to understand where they come from...Woman...

  7. Anonymous says:

    We are equal Without each other man and women are nothing this is about life not who's in charge and its the law that has changed the way we view and trust each other.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What I wish was that all native/indigenous men would value women. Times HAVE changed and its apparent in the fact that indigenous women experience domestic violence at least 50% percent more prevalent than any other ethnicity. It hurts. Sometimes I wonder what happened to our men. Why do they abandon us or abuse us? It hurts.

  9. Damn8tiv says:

    Our culture dictates how we treat our woman, there are two reasons our men went to battle. To protect our lands and to fight for our woman were the most prominent feature of maori culture in general. NO VICTIMS HERE!!!

  10. Holy Pine Tree Womyn says:

    Where I'm from, out culture / tradition is all are equal. Everyone has a role and everyone is equally important. This includes womyn. Times have changed due to colonialism, true. But many things have remained ... protocols, the teachings from the ancestors. but even in this day and age, many have changed to adopt to the change in the world as we know it today. Evolving, adjusting and creating change. Certainly, there are growing pains > roles have changed, time ... when people lose their purpose > things like domestic violence, addictions, etc become their lifestyle. We as "original, Indigenous people" also adjust the best we can, keeping our traditions alive.
    Yes, Womyn are sacred as we are the givers of life.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this White Wolf.

    My whakaaro (thought) is that genders have been conditioned to believe that they each have a 'role' - instead of just being what comes naturally to them. Violence, abuse, neglect and dominance are not natural human/divine occurrence. These traits are taught and then perpetuated within generations. Peel away all the layers of 'conditioning' and arrive to the source of infinite love and compassion. The foundations of humanity.

  12. Anonymous says:

    When women/men start to respect each other and respect their children then and only then will life improve for everybody. As it stands now we have a long way to go

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