This hākari (feast) stage is based on one described by the 19th-century missionary William Yate. It is adorned by flags and is a massive structure designed to hold food for an inter-tribal feast. While these structures may have developed after Europeans arrived, tribes gathering together for large feasts was always a feature of Māori trading.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Elsdon Best, The Maori as he was: a brief account of Maori life as it was in pre-European days. Wellington: Dominion Museum, 1924, p. 98
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