September 26, 2013
Burial rituals revived
A Taranaki-based revival of traditional Maori burial practices is starting to gain attention further afield.
Maata Wharehoka from Parihaka says she has been as far afield as Rotorua and Whakatane to explain the kahu whakatere process.
The five-day ritual includes wrapping the body in a harakeke mat and carrying it in a container of natural wood rather than a coffin.
She says the ritual acknowledges Papatuanuku and Ranginui, and helps participants understand dying and death.
She says her late husband Te Ru Wharehoka came up with a whanau vision a decade ago to help Maori who want to use the ancient practices.
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