Māori All Stars embrace indigenous culture, take part in special smoking ceremony

The Māori All Stars men and women’s teams were welcomed with a special indigenous smoking ceremony in Melbourne yesterday.

Māori All Stars women's player Krystal Rota said the ritual was a great experience.

"It's really different when you only know a little bit about something. When you come to something like this and you are like 'it all makes sense now,'" said Rota.

"Just seeing their traditional dancing and knowing about the rivers and just the whakapapa [genealogy] behind everything is just real special, so it was a really awesome ceremony."

Māori All Stars men’s skipper Adam Blair said this week is all about "embracing" both cultures.

"Feel cleansed, I enjoy obviously the cultural side of things and that what this weekend is about, embracing each other's culture and what's a better way than to experience it first hand," said Blair.

"I have lived in Australia for about half my life and it is always nice to sit up there and watch the Australian indigenous people do what they do.

"It's quite similar to what we do back home."

The Māori All Stars men and women's team face off against the Indigenous All Stars sides on Friday at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

The Māori All Stars men's and women's sides were welcomed in Melbourne by a traditional Indigenous ceremony ahead of their Friday fixtures. Source: Te Karere

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