Whānau gather under the southern stars

in Bluff

A fire crackles in the frosty morning air as whānau speak the names of their loved ones who’ve passed this year, allowing them to become stars.

The sun hasn’t even begun to rise yet, but they’ve gathered at Te Rau Aroha Marae in Bluff – New Zealand’s southernmost marae – for hautapu.

The pre-dawn ceremony gives thanks to the stars and nourishes the atua (gods) as whānau ring in the Māori New Year.

Te Rūnaka O Awarua Kaiwhakahaere Dean Whaanga carefully opens offerings of kūmara, tuna (eel), Kingfish, and heihei before waiata draws the ceremony to close.

Link to article: Whānau gather under the southern stars in Bluff | Stuff.co.nz


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