All our libraries are now open. Find out about Level 1. Musical traditions, in the form of waiata songs and haka dance , were passed down from generation to generation and grew from their Polynesian roots. Many songs are accompanied by movement haka , and rhythmic elements include foot stamping and thigh slapping. Hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue, and eyes all play their part in blending together to convey in their fullness the challenge, welcome, exultation, defiance or contempt of the words. He began his musical journey playing jazz, but very soon discovered the rich tradition of native New Zealand music. He has spent his life re-awakening those sounds and bringing them to the people of Aotearoa. Together with the now deceased Hirini Melbourne and master-carver Brian Flintoff , he has re-introduced many New Zealanders to their musical heritage. Instruments made of bone, wood, pounamu and stone can now be heard again in recordings and performances. Skip to main navigation Skip to main navigation Skip to search Skip to search Skip to content.
According to legend, the Maori migrated by canoe from Hawaiki in eastern Polynesia to New Zealand a thousand years ago. As their population increased over time, so did feuding among tribes, and warfare became a prominent feature of Maori culture. One type of song, the haka , was chanted before a battle not only to frighten the enemy but to make the performer himself more fearless. Other forms of traditional Maori songs featured on this album are waiata love songs, lullabies, and laments for the dead and karakia incantations to various gods. Liner notes include a history of the Maori, their music, and notes on each of the songs. Skip to main content. Music of, by, and for the people.
The Maori are Polynesians living in New Zealand ever since the 11 th century. Their exact origin is unknown. Their own name is derived from Ma-Uri, which means 'Children of Heaven'. Their nickname is 'Vikings of the Sunrise', because they are fierce warriors. Originally they were hunters, but soon became peasants, living of agriculture. Today the ca. Their tribal groupings are derived from the people of each canoe, settling New Zealand in the early times. Their villages are fortified with in the centre the marae , an open space on which the whare hui, or the meeting house is located. This building is the symbolic body of the ancestor. Around the fort sites a palisade with watch tower is built.
Songs waiata are sung solo, in unison or at the octave. Types of song include lullabies oriori , love songs waiata aroha and laments waiata tangi. Traditionally all formal speeches are followed by a waiata sung by the speaker and their group of supporters. Some of the smaller wind instruments are also sung into, and the sound of the poi raupo ball swung on the end of a flax cord provides a rhythmic accompaniment to waiata poi. It was a bad omen for a song to be interrupted, so singers would perform in subgroups to allow each to breathe without interrupting the flow of the chant. The karanga is given by women only.