The pole that runs down the centre of the whare from front to back, represents the ancestor's backbone. This is a very solid piece of wood which is used, as when the backbone is strong, the body is strong. The rafters from the carved figures on the inside of the whare represent the ribs of the ancestor. The smaller and larger "Koruru" carvings may be seen on the outside of the whare. The protruding tongue often seen is in defiance of the enemy, and is also a defiant gesture during the haka (war dance). tahuhu, represent connection between Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. While there are other interpretations it follows appropriately that meeting houses are named after a tupuna.
The marae is a very sacred, spiritual and safe place for the iwi and hapu. It is there place where they know they belong to within their whānau. A place of respect and humbling yourself. We should learn and acknowledge the stories and meaning behind the values of the marae. It is important to Maori and should not be trampled on. There is so much that I have learnt from researching the values of the marae and should continue to learn and grow the values within me and when I go to somebodies marae. From what I have read this is truly more then just important, but recognizing the feeling