After racing back to Rotorua from Whakatane, we missed our pick up by less than 5min! Luckily, the lady at the hotel called and the bus driver was willing to make another swing by the hotel. We were soon on our way to the Tamaki Maori Village, a reconstructed, historically accurate village of this indigenous tribe. Our driver was awesome; she was kind and funny, and extremely personable, making us feel welcome and excited about the whole evening.
Within the village were areas explaining important aspects of tribe life, including games, facial tattooing, food preparation, and story-telling.
As it was freezing, we hurried through and listened to each tribe member explain about their heritage.
After our time in the village, we were invited into the meeting house where the members of the Tamaki tribe put on a fantastic show of singing, dancing, and synchronized performances. They told us stories from their history and explained the purpose for the terrible faces the men sometimes made, eyes wide, tongue out. This was meant to intimidate one's opponent by making himself as ugly and scary as possible.