Before our visit to Te Tahawai Marae we learned how to perform a hongi. Here is Zara's guide to help you to perform the hongi correctly.
What is a hongi?
A hongi is the pressing of noses, which symbolises the exchange of the breath of life
When does the hongi happen?
When the tangata whenua side indicates that the speeches are complete, the manuhiri speakers approach the tangata whenua to hongi
What to do.
1. Gently but firmly with your right hand shake their hand and then say “Kia Ora”, maintain eye contact as you do this.
2. Take your left hand and rest it on the other person’s right shoulder then the other person will do the same thing to you.
3. Lean forward and press noses for one second and if you are shorter than the other person they will bend down.
4. Now you can release your hands, shoulders and noses.
The hongi is a greeting that shows respect to the tangata whenua, therefore it is important you do it correctly.