THE 7 BASIC STEPS
As described in greater detail in the available handbook, there are seven basic steps to a marae encounter.
- Assembly – everyone in the host community quietly gathers together in an orderly fashion on their side of the marae; the speakers for the hosts should be in the front row. Everyone remains standing. Similarly, everyone in the visiting community quietly assembles just off the marae waiting to be called forward.
- Call on to the marae – someone on the host’s side of the marae steps a short way toward the center of the marae and calls the visiting community to come forward.
- Advance – slowly and with dignity, the visitors move as a group to their side of the marae and take up position there. Everyone remains standing; the visitors’ speakers should be in the front row.
- Moment of remembrance – once everyone is standing on their side of the marae, everybody bows their head for a moment or two in remembrance of community members who are no longer among the living. Then people take their seats, if seating has been provided.
- Formal exchange of speeches –first the speakers for the hosts stand up one after another and give their speeches to the visitors on the other side of the marae. Each speaker should be supported as soon as he or she has finished talking by at least some from their community who stand beside the speaker to do so. Then the speakers for the visitors give their orations, supported by others from their own community.
- Presentation of a gift – the last speaker for the visitors steps toward the center of the marae and lays down a gift, which is then picked up by someone from the host community.
- Crossing the marae – finally the principal leader of the host community formally invites the visitors to cross the marae for the very first time to be warmly greeted as friends and “family members” by the host community.