Te Ore Ore Marae on Friday threw open its doors and history to about 50 Hadlow School pupils who were studying Maori customs and traditions.

Teacher Vicki Roberts said the Hub 3 pupils had been studying Maori tikanga (customs and protocols) this term and a link had been forged to Te Ore Ore Marae through Wairarapa Maori historian Joseph Potangaroa.

She said kaumatua and kuia, respectively male and female elders, had led the group through a powhiri, or welcome, at the marae.

The group also spent time listening to Mr Potangaroa outline Maori history and traditions in the region before playing games in a field fronting the marae, which is just east of the Masterton township.

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The pupils used pencils to recreate on paper the carved tekoteko, or carved figure, which represents the head on the rooftop in front of the marae wharenui, or meeting house, and the maihi, or front barge boards, which represent arms held out in welcome to manuhiri, or visitors.

Ms Roberts said the association with Te Ore Ore Marae and the lessons given at the front of the meeting house, which is named Nga Tau e Waru, had helped to enhance their understanding of taha Maori, or things Maori.

"We've been studying tikanga Maori this term and we realised we needed to associate with a marae and after some research we discovered Te Ore Ore Marae was where we all needed to be."