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Maori Cultural Architecture

Maori  Cultural Architecture
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3204 W: 262 N: 7964] (34497)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-17
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture
Camera: Canon EOS 30D, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Friday Theme for 2009/05/01 Cultural Architecture, Rotorua - April 2009 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-04-30 2:26
Viewed: 1958
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Maori Cultural Architecture at the Whakarewarewa Maori settlement in Rotorua


This is one of the Maori houses on the outskirts of the Living Maori village of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. This Maori settlement is set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity, hot thermal springs and hot bubbling mud pools.

Look among the plants and you can see clouds of steam that are wafting up from the thermal holes in the ground.

Te Whakarewarewatanga O Te Ope Taua A Wahiao'
Meaning “The uprising of the warriors (war party) of Wahiao"

The people of Tuhourangi - Ngati Wahiao (a Maori family tribe) have lived in and around the geothermal activity of Whakarewarewa for over 200 years.

But in 1997 for the people of Tuhourangi/ Ngati Wahiao began an independent tourism experience through the living village of Whakarewarewa.

The village experience is not ‘owned’ by any particular organisation or individual rather it is a way of life, a legacy passed down through the generations which continue today.


Most older Maori houses are rectangular buildings with two main upright poles which supported the ridge pole or tahu. From the ridge pole depended the rafters (heke), which were supported below by main wall slabs (poupou), securely sunk in the ground. With the earth well piled up at the sides, such a house was known as a wharepuni or warm house.

Larger houses of assembly are used for tribal gatherings, etc., but were not common until after European contact when steel tools were used for felling trees and working timber. Such houses were whare runanga. Many were ornamented with carving, while spaces between the poupou were filled with ornamental panels of tuku-tuku designs.


I lost all the EXIF data on this photo 2 years ago when I was in Rotorua with Dawn and Pam. I had mistakenly deleted all the photos off my memory card and I had to use CONVAR to search and find them all. And it worked - I found them all - minus their EXIF data...

chrisJ, Jonela, pozaru, werdir, John_F_Kennedy, dareco, HapiSnapa, shelbeesmom, ubc64, mumek, Athila, jjcordier, Sharpshooter, Royaldevon, Dawn, salomaoquaresma, Derona, hifimusicdai, skot has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekLens members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekLens members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To skot: Thank youJanice 2 05-04 00:26
To Dot: GreeneryJanice 1 05-02 13:20
To Dawn: Yeah rightJanice 2 04-30 23:08
To Athila: Thank you for the WSJanice 1 04-30 20:57
To shelbeesmom: ThxxxxJanice 3 04-30 17:18
To ubc64: Hot waterJanice 1 04-30 16:03
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4430 W: 637 N: 9632] (55124)
  • [2009-04-30 3:35]

Hi Janice

An informative note that explains the context. The Maori house is well placed in the frame offcentre. I like the pastel colours. Tfs!

Hi Janice,

I like the very scenic but rural setting and the puff of smoke coming from the thermal hole. The colours are great and the details sharp and as always your notes are very explanatory well done.


  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2009-04-30 5:19]

Very interesting and beautiful picture.
Excellent note, too

ps.The backlight effect of Netscape would've push up a bit the sky, I guess

  • Great 
  • werdir Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 147 N: 2654] (11957)
  • [2009-04-30 6:10]

Hi Janice,

Very nice composition of the house and surroundings. The clouds of steam are very interesting. Great color and detail. Interesting note too!


Hello Janice
Nice presentation for the theme, great view over the landscape and the Maori house. I like the colours too and good sharpness. Well done.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • dareco Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1672 W: 16 N: 832] (15528)
  • [2009-04-30 14:24]

A very interesting note, and a very cozy place with lovely surroundings. Good pov and nice detail. TFS

Nice subject for the theme Janice. This little cottage is a classic of the area. I like the layer of the foliage leading up to the skyline and the wisps of sulpharery steam are great.

How much??? I'm there! Love the look of this, the wonderful foliage! How nice Janice! I could live here, with an internet connection..B-) Very nice shot, love all the green with the white house in contrast.

  • Great 
  • ubc64 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 53 W: 25 N: 122] (555)
  • [2009-04-30 15:15]
  • [+]

Hi Janice,

What an amazing shot! Great colors and details. Was it straightforward getting there to take the photo, or did you have to tread carefully? I would never have imagined that people would wish to live where there are "hot thermal springs and hot bubbling mud pools." Very appropriate contribution to this week's theme. TFS.


  • Great 
  • mumek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 221 W: 2 N: 110] (1853)
  • [2009-04-30 15:19]

Good evening Janice!
Nicely composed scenery with beautiful view at the house.
You captured fantastic different tones of green colours and interesting details of the house.The note is very informative and interesting.
best regards

  • Great 
  • Dawn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 98 N: 3374] (17650)
  • [2009-04-30 18:03]
  • [+]

Just wondering what that building is there on the right Janice...is that some kiwi Cultural Architecture too?

Nice kiwi colours, good sharpness, and interesting notes..

Ka kite ano
Awatea..the good girl...ka pai

Bonsoir Janice

Good subject for the theme. Effectively some culture are not fortunate as others and the live in that kind of environment. At least, they live in nature. Nice simple composition, sharp but the dull light of the day washed out the colors. Nice participation to the friday theme. TFS.


Très intéressante contribution au thème du vendredi avec cette typique construction maori dans son environnement naturel.

Outstanding photo Janice, very fitting for the theme. Looks great from the POV you've chosen. The dense greenery really gives us an idea of how peaceful/spiritual this place is. The mud pools are real bonuses too.


Hello Janice,

This is a well balanced and well composed shot with the focal image sitting nicely in just the right spot; its colours also shout its presence.

The red decoration is interestingly tribal but, I must admit, I was a little disappointed to see corrugated roofing. I suppose the romantic in me wanted to see houses as described in your notes, but who wouldn't want to be more comfortable, in this day and age!

Have a great w/e,
Bev :-)

Hi Janice:
very good picture.
good POV on this one.


Hello Janice.
Looks a very nice place to be...
Good picture to show how it look.
Thanks for the interesting note too.
Cheers from Jan

Hi Janice

I remember seeing many scenes like this when I drove round NZ, seems like months ago now.
Nice composition with the house well poitioned in the frame.
Interesting note.

Regards Derek

Delightful dwelling and hot springs. Interesting note. Nice pov and composition.
warm regards

  • Great 
  • Dot Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1583 W: 40 N: 3488] (13942)
  • [2009-05-02 5:16]
  • [+]

HI Janice
When you look at all the vegetation you sort of wonder how to they get there.
Interesting note and well captured building.

  • Great 
  • skot Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 10 N: 77] (453)
  • [2009-05-03 22:05]
  • [+]

Hey Janice,

Lovely image here. Lovely detail. It looks a bit oversharpened for my taste and, looking at the WS, a little yellow. Which is more representative of the scene when you took this image? I can't tell if it was really that yellow because, to my North American eye, the WS looks more natural.

Love the steam detail. Great work.


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