11. Pou Whakarae - Markers

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Imagine these pou whakarae rising out of the landscape, a fierce challenge to anyone brave enough to enter the territory of another iwi or tribe uninvited. Pou whakarae are ancestors of that tribe, watching over the lands that belong to the iwi or which have been placed under their protection.

These pou are from all over the country and range in style from extremely detailed and life-like to very abstract and simplified. The fifth pou whakarae has his hand raised to his chin, while others are full frontal. Look for the wavy lines around the middle of the pou on the end – these represent a belt that warriors tucked their weapons into.

Pou whakarae are still used to signify who is mana whenua of the land they stand on. Mana whenua are tribes who can link their histories and stories to a specific area, and who have a special cultural and spiritual relationship with that land.

Turn around to learn how iwi went to war at stop 12.

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