First welcome, then reinkommen
Like every guest, I am greeted with the traditional, solemn welcome ceremony, the Whakatau, before I enter his house. Hones wife Judy stands at the entrance of the house and sings. Over her jeans, she has pulled a skirt for the ceremony, to cover her legs and thus to recognize as a woman. Because women who show their legs are in the Maori tradition like men - and would be treated like that, we explained to Hone.
Judy calls her and my ancestors, who travel in the Maori philosophy always and everywhere with one. She asks whether I am peaceful or not. Finally, I am welcomed and answered in my own language. It follows the traditional Maori greeting, pressing together nose and forehead. Now I can enter the house.
House conversion in only 5 days
Then it will be very convenient: In short, Hone tells me proudly, he wants to renovate his house from scratch. Right doors in all rooms instead of, as currently, curtains for separation, also in the toilet. One more floor, so that in the future guests will not have to sleep in the garage on the floor.
A staircase and a porch. And a real kitchen. The house renovation should take only five days: Then comes the whole family, all camp in the garden and rebuild the house: Whether that is not a little short, I ask doubt. "No," whispers Hone, "everyone comes to help. And he promises to post photos of it on Facebook. I have not found any yet.
Flute in the ear
"Even backpackers have signed up for support," says Hone proudly - and laughs. He is now well known far beyond the borders of New Zealand, thanks to his job as a "tourist attraction" he has been doing for 15 years. Because Hone is a curious guy.
So he wears a flute in his ear instead of an earring. This is very convenient because he can take them out at any time and play on them, he says - and then does the same. He can also blow melodies on shells. How he made such a big hole in his earlobe? "With a feather," he explains, adding to my puzzled expression: "I used the quill to drill the hole and then gradually enlarge it with a small branch."
Tourism has brought prosperity
Tourism is a blessing to Hone and Judy - he brought them prosperity. Now, finally, they have earned enough for the house remodeling. His wife Judy can not wait.
She, who grew up in Wellington in a big house, Mother Maori, the father knows, first had to get used to the small, somewhat poor house that once belonged to Hone's parents, she tells me, "When Hone's dad asked us 1997 I did not want to move here - our standard of living was higher in Auckland. "Now she no longer knows how she used to live in the city, with all the people and the smog.
"I am not a show pony"
Hone shakes his head when I tell him that there are people in Berlin who demonstrate against tourists: "Fighting tourism means fighting money," says Hone. He did not even have enough money to start his small business marketing in the tourism industry.
But then the New Zealand Tourist Office discovered the Maori as a unique feature of the country - and Hone got orders. First, he had therefore come up with a Maori group, for example, on cruise ships the Haka, the traditional ritual dance Maori performed. But that was soon too artificial for him, too fake: "I'm an original, not a show pony," he confidently says.
A motor at canoe for the tourists
Today, Hone and his tribe offer canoe tours for tourists on the Waitangi River. More than just paddling: Before every tour, the gods of water, wind and wood are called. Because even the canoes, the Waka, have a long tradition with the Maori and tell stories.
With just such canoes, the ancestors were rowed from Hawaii to New Zealand - a nautical masterpiece, so to speak. Its nine canoes were made by the tribe itself - and has largely followed the traditional design. However, the modern canoes are made of fiberglass.
Hone has just bought an engine for his canoe - "if the tourists get tired". And he did not even mention his basil skirts today. "Too cold," he says.
Little mishaps on historical ground
I accompany him on a tour with girls from an elite girls' school in Auckland. Contrasts could hardly be greater. And while Hone tells us, by James Cook, the 1769 is the first European Bay of Iceland visited and gave her the name, the early European settlement and the Treaty of Waitangi, which 1840 was signed here - in the euphoria of his lecture he throws his car key into the water.
And of course he does not find it again. Now he has to borrow a cell phone from the teacher to call his wife, so she can give him the replacement key. We can not make it to Hararu Falls today. But the girls still had fun.
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