Cardi B embraces Māori culture during pōwhiri

updated By Jessica Tyson
Cardi B receives traditional Māori welcome to Aotearoa. Photo source: kaiHaka Instagram

American rapper Cardi B has embraced the Māori culture during a pōwhiri welcoming her to Aotearoa to perform at Bay Dreams.

Cardi B couldn’t stop smiling while watching the group kaiHaka perform a wero, karanga, waiata and haka at the Auckland airport last night.

During the pōwhiri she said, “I’m so honored I don’t even know what to say but thank you. I can’t wait to enjoy your country, explore your culture and have a good time and show you a little bit about me.”

Following the welcoming, she was gifted a necklace taonga from by Rotorua weaver Ataraiti Waretini, a hat from kaiHaka and a purerehua wind instrument made by Troy Webb.

When Webb handed the purehehua to her he told her about its healing qualities.

“This is our purerehua, one of our musical instruments. You swing it around and it makes a low humming noise, said Webb.

“The surface patterns in here talk about the challenges in life.”

Cardi B replied with interest and said, “Wow, I’m definitely going to research.”

In an Instagram post by kaiHaka, the group, led by Eruera Rarere-Wilton and Malcolm Kerehoma, said it was a privilege to be selected to do the traditional welcoming for Cardi B.

“It has been an honour to welcome an artist as talented and famous as Cardi B.”

Cardi B performed at Bay Dreams Last night in Mount Maunganui.