She Claimed She Respected the Significance of Personal Colors in Traditional Maori Clothing, but Still Demanded That Everyone Wear the Same Tone at Her Wedding

A man recently shared a story online of how his wife tried to make him and his groomsmen wear matching Korowai during their wedding. The problem is that in Maori culture, each person wears a Korowai with a color that is deeply significant to them.

Traditional garb

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The man wrote, “My fiancée and I are planning our wedding. In Maori culture, we wear a cloak called a Korowai or a Kakahu on special occasions.”

Special meaning

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“These cloaks are steeped in meaning, right down to the color. A green Korowai can represent life or someone who saves lives,” he added. “I have a green cloak because I work in a paramedicine service as a chaplain. As a culture, we are inherently spiritual.”

Complicated culture

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He understands that his culture is complicated for people to understand. Many of his non-indigenous friends find it a bit of a minefield.

Understanding soul

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The man is patient and always happy to help people learn more about the culture. He never takes offense when his friends get things wrong.

Meaningful gift

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The man’s wedding was coming up. He told his groomsman he would gift them with Korowai to wear on the day. They were very touched and delighted.

Special significance

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A Korowai must be gifted. It’s the only way that you can get one. This honor symbolized that the man’s friends were on a special journey with him.

Wife to be

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His fiancée is very respectful of his culture. However, she is not Maori. When he told her about gifting the Korowais, she was very happy, but then she changed her tune.

Innocent conversation

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His fiancée spoke to one of his groomsmen. She learned that they were picking their own colors for their Korowai. She feared the Korowai would look “shoddy and mismatched in photos.”

Must be matching

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She insisted the Korowai should match in color. He reminded her that color is very important in his culture and that people wear a particular tone, representing their tribe.

Ragtag

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However, she wouldn’t listen. She claimed it would make the photos look “ragtag.”

Uncomfortable argument

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When the man’s Maori friend heard about his fiancée’s demands, he said he would rather not wear a Korowai under these circumstances because it would be an insult to his culture and their people.

Should he stand his ground?

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His fiancée is refusing to back down, but so is the man. He feels she should respect his culture. He wrote to an online forum to get a second opinion.

The internet responded

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One poster said, “Flip and reverse it: if she doesn’t want the pictures to look shoddy, then she should have the bridesmaids coordinate colors with the cloaks of the corresponding groomsmen. That way, you get to keep all the colors you want, and she gets the color coordination she wants.”

While another commenter suggested, “​​You need to sit down with your fiancée and explain to her all of the significance of Korowai to her. She needs to understand that these aren’t fashion statements.”

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