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May 11, 2014 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira Opinion |
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Māori Music

“… Kia toka ia nei te paepae tapu, kei ngā waha kākā nui a Tāne, kei ngā manu tīoriori pari kārangaranga o Rongomaraeroa…”

Ko tātou anō kei te kōrerotia i ēnei kupu nā Te Rangiāhuta, ko ngā waha kākā nui a Tāne he kaiwhaikōrero, ko ngā manu tīoriori nei ko ngā kaikaranga e rāhiri mai ana i te manuhiri kia whakaeke mai i runga i te rangimārie. Pērā anō ngā waiata o mua, he whakanui, he tuitui whakaaro, he tuitui whakapapa, he whakangahau, he whakamaumahara, ā, he pēnei anō te nuinga i ēnei rā.

Kua kore tēnei tikanga i ētahi kaiwaiata o nāianei, kua tahuri kē ki te ao pūoro Pākehā ruku ai i te wai o whakahīhī, āhua whīroki, tikanga kē atu kāore i te hāngai ki te pūoro. I tēnei wiki ka tukuna e Fortafy tana wepu ki te aro ā-kapa Māori (Poronīhia hoki) o Tīhau, mō te hē rawa o te mōmona i runga i te atamira. Ki tāna, kia kitea kētia ko te tūpuhi, kei reira kē te “ātaahua” e kitea ana.

Ehara i te mea me tohunga rawa ki te pūoro Māori e mōhio ai te tangata kāore he paku aha ki te Māori te āhua o te tinana e kīia ai he ātaahua te tū o mea tangata, o mea kapa. Kei te hāngai o te ringa ki te kupu, te tū maia o te tāne, te kopikopi o te wahine, te taki, te rere o te tito  – kei reira kē te ātaahua! Kāore kau mā te ineine i te mōmona! Nā reira, e kare mā, i tēnei mārama whakanui i te pūoro o Aotearoa kia taki wero tātou ki ā tātou kaiwaiata Māori o nāianei – he tao rakau e taea e te karo, he tao kī e kore e taea.

It’s us Te Rangiāhuta describes in these words – the manu kākā nui a Tāne, the orators. The manu tīoriori pari kārangaranga o Rongomaraeroa, the kaikaranga. Our old waiata celebrated us, formed opinions, recorded ancestry, entertained and reminded us of past events. Māori music today reflects similar values.

Some seem to have forgotten this, instead dipping into Western music’s pool of arrogance, skinny-ness and other traits that don’t really relate to music at all. This week, Fortafy tweeted that fat people shouldn’t perform in Māori (and Polynesian) groups on stage. Only skinny ones should, because they’re nicer to watch.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that although healthy living IS supported, the absence of fat doesn’t constitute beautiful performances. How action embodies prose, how men and women move insyncs, utterly majestic composition – THAT is beauty! Not merely measuring body fat percentage. So, this NZ Music Month, I urge us all to send a clear message to our contemporary musicians – you can block a swing in a fight, but you can never undo what you say.

 

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