The marae is an open space or gathering place, generally in front of a meeting house (wharenui). This area was seen as being divided between Te Ao Mārama (the world of light) outside and Te Pō (darkness) inside. The doorway, such as this one at Wellington’s Te Herenga Waka marae, represents the transition point between the two worlds.
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All rights to images of this marae are held by Te Tumu Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University of Wellington