Cultural identity research has largely focused on subjective and individualised notions of identity. In recent research we introduced the concept of “cultural embeddedness” as a framework for understanding the collective expectations derived from cultural values, practices and beliefs, and how these facets of culture are integrated into identity and enacted in everyday behaviours (Fox et al., 2021). This article builds on our theory of cultural embeddedness by drawing on the lived experiences of 10 Māori individuals whom we consider to be culturally embedded in order to elucidate the features of cultural embeddedness in the context of Indigenous Māori people. Participants provided insights concerning (1) values, beliefs and practices that are important in Māori culture; (2) the characteristics of an individual who is embedded in those facets; and (3) how a person can become culturally embedded. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The implicit and explicit transmission of Māori culture is discussed, particularly for those with limited access to cultural learning opportunities during childhood and adolescence.