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Kapa Haka Ki Kahungunu – Māori Cultural Performance within Ngāti Kahungunu

20th January, 2017

Kapa Haka Ki Kahungunu – Māori Cultural Performance within Ngāti Kahungunu

Kapa Haka Ki Kahungunu – Māori Cultural Performance within Ngāti Kahungunu

Kapa haka has a long and proud history in the Takitimu-Hawkes Bay region.

This includes the iconic tribal haka, Tika Tonu. It was composed by a local chief Waimarama Puhara around 1914 for his son Moana, urging him to find the inner strength to deal with the troubles of adult life.

The area is also the home of 20th century Māori composer, Paraire Tomoana. At age 40 he turned his hand to composing popular Māori songs with European tunes such as the WW1 lament, E Pari Rā and a poi waka, Hoea Rā Te Waka Nei commemorating the soldiers who fought and died in Passchendaele.

Another well-known composer was Canon Wi Te Tau Huata, a former chaplain of the 28 Māori Battalion during WW2. His compositions included Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi, a song describing tribal unity that was later used to promote peace and reconciliation after the war.

Wi’s son, Tama Huata was a former Chairman of Te Matatini and highly regarded in the kapa haka world. In 1983, he set up Kahurangi, a Māori theatre and dance company and Te Whare Tapere o Te Waka Tapu o Takitimu, the first institution in Aotearoa-NZ to offer tertiary qualifications in Māori performing arts.

ENDS

Glossary:

E Pari Rā: Flow (of the tide)

haka: a general term for a posture dance with actions and words

Hoea Rā Te Waka Nei: Row The Canoe

Kahurangi: prized or precious

kapa haka: a group that performs Māori Cultural performing arts

Kahungunu a tribe of the Hawkes Bay region

poi: a ball on the end of a string

poi waka: where women perform poi actions imitating warriors paddling a canoe

Te Matatini: Many Faces (of Māori Performing Arts)

Te Whare Tapere o Te Waka Tapu o Takitimu: The house of entertainment of the sacred Takitimu canoe

Tūtira Mai Ngā Iwi: People Standing Together

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