The Journey of Farewell - Honoring Maori Traditions with Dignity


The article discusses the traditional Maori funeral practice of lying in state, where the body of the deceased is placed in a special location for family and friends to pay their respects. This age-old custom plays a vital role in Maori culture and is a significant part of the grieving process.

Lying in state is seen as a way to honor and acknowledge the life of the deceased individual. The body is typically placed on a decorated bed or displayed in a specially designed area, adorned with flowers and surrounded by photographs and personal belongings. This setup allows mourners to have one last opportunity to spend time with their loved one and say their final goodbyes.


Often, the body is accompanied by family members who take turns watching over it and ensuring that it is never left alone. The vigil can last for one to three days, depending on the community's customs and the individual's standing within the community.

During this time, visitors also come to offer their condolences and pay their respects. They may bring food, gifts, or flowers to support the grieving family. The atmosphere is usually solemn, with prayers, songs, and speeches being offered in honor of the deceased.

Lying in state is a deeply spiritual and emotional experience for the bereaved. It allows them to process their grief and find comfort in the presence of their loved one's body. It also provides an opportunity for the community to come together and support one another during this difficult time.

Overall, lying in state is a cherished Maori tradition that holds great significance in honoring the deceased and supporting the grieving family.