Touring Hawaiian choir enthralled by talk on traditional Māori instruments

2019-06-11 06:49:55

A group of Hawaiian singers touring the country made a whistlestop trip to Palmerston North to discover more about traditional Māori instruments.

The Na Pu'ukani Choir – the combined choruses of the Kona Choral Society and the Windward Choral Society – attended a talk by Māori carver Warren Warbrick at the Globe Theatre on Tuesday.

Warbrick showcased a range of items used by Māori, such as the twin-barrelled pūtōrino, a traditional Māori flute.

Art director Susan McCreary Duprey, who was born and raised in Hawaii, said she was struck with the similarities and differences between Māori and Hawaiian culture.

She said many of the Māori instruments were also found in Hawaiian culture.

McCreary Duprey said Hawaiian music had more focus on drumming and she wondered if other instruments had been forgotten about over time.

"It's made me wonder how much Hawaiian knowledge has been lost," she said.

For most of the 51 members of the choir and its support group, it was their first time in New Zealand.

The choir enthusiastically took photos and asked questions about the instruments, with the crowd favourites being the purerehua – a wind instrument that works by being swung around the head – and the pūkāea, a long trumpet.

McCreary Duprey said coming from Hawaii meant she was conscious of seeing Māori culture in its authentic state.

"We can see how a culture can be marginalised within a tourist setting," she said.

The choir will perform in Wellington on Wednesday when it joins the Wellington-based Voices in the Wind Choir for a combined concert at St Peter's Anglican Church.

Entrance is by koha.

Back to the top ^

Related Articles (30)