Pūkana, te ihi te wehi te wana, Moments in Māori performance

Pūkana: moments in Māori performance

This exhibition is closed.

Celebrate Māori performance and performers across time and genres.

Pūkana — what the dictionaries say

He Pātaka Kupu

Ka whakarahi i ngā karu, ka whātero te arero, ka whakakotikoti i te kanohi i runga i te ihi, te wana, te riri, te whakatoi, te ngahau, te aha atu. He Pātaka Kupu

 

Te Aka

(verb) to stare wildly, dilate the eyes — done by both genders when performing haka and waiata to emphasise particular words and to add excitement to the performance. Te Aka

 

Ngati Kahungunu perform haka powhiri at the wedding of Maud Donnelly and Mr F Churchill Perry. Ref: PAColl-5584-02. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Ngati Kahungunu perform haka powhiri. Woman doing a pūkana.

New Zealand Land wars petition presentation at Parliament. Dylan Owen Ref: PADL-001758. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Group at the Land War Petition. Woman doing a pūkana.

Awe-inspiring Māori performances across time

He mōhio a ngāi Māori katoa ki te waiata, ki te whakatangi i te rakuraku?

Kei tēnei whakakitenga ētahi tāngata Māori kaha ki aua mahi, engari tērā noa ake te hōhonu, te whānui o te ao waiata, haka a te iwi Māori.

Tomo mai, titiro ki ētahi o ngā tino mahi whakangahau a te iwi Māori mai o mua ki nāianei – mai i ngā pūrākau mō te pūtake o te ao, o te tangata, tae noa mai ki ngā kaiwaiata taiohi o ēnei rā e tipiwhenua nei hei mīharotanga mā ngā iwi o te ao.

 

Can all Māori sing and play the guitar?

This exhibition shows Māori who do just that — but the world of Māori performance is so much more.

Come and experience the many awe-inspiring Māori performances across time – from origin stories, right up to today’s young performers taking the world by storm.

 

Alien Weaponry. Ref: PADL-001391. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Alien Weaponry performing.

Performance at the heart of Māori culture

Me korero ra tatou mo Tina Cross me tana waiata i ‘Nothing but Dreams’ i te tau 1979; me whakaaro ake ki nga hoia e haka ana i te kokiri i nga maioro o nga hoia o Takei i te Pakanga Tuatahi o Te Ao; me mahara ake ki te arataki a Inia Te Wiata i te puoro whakaari rongonui o Porgy and Bess i te tau 1965; nga kuia e kopikopi ana ki te hamonika i Turangawaewae marae; waihoki a Alien Weaponry, me ta ratou whakaputa waiata whakarara tohetohe…

Ko tenei mea te tu ki te haka ki te waiata kei te putahi tonu o te ao Maori me nga ahuatanga Maori, o te ahua o te tu tahi me te noho tahi a te Maori i tona ao, i te ao whanui hoki. Ahakoa waiata whakanui i tetahi kaupapa, whakamatoro i te ipo, whakangahau i te manuhiri, whakaputa i te ngakau kawa, ngakau riri, ahakoa whakaputa i te kurunga o te mamae i nga tangi apakura.
 

Tina Cross singing ‘Nothing but Dreams’ in 1979; soldiers performing haka while overtaking Turkish trenches during the Great War; Inia Te Wiata leading the acclaimed 1965 production of Porgy and Bess; kuia dancing kopikopi to the harmonica at Turangawaewae marae; Alien Weaponry performing te reo thrash metal.

Performance is at the heart of Maori culture and the way Maori engage with each other and the world, whether to celebrate, seduce, entertain, express dissent or anger, or grieve.
 

Tina Cross performing at the Pacific Song Contest, Christchurch, 1979. Photographer unidentified. Private collection

Tina Cross singing

Te ihi. Te wehi. Te wana.

Ka tuhono nga momo whakakitenga taketake – te karanga, te wero, te haka, te whaikorero me te waiata – i te hunga ora ki te ao wairua, e puea ake ai te ‘te ihi’, ‘te wehi’ me ‘te wana’.

E ai ki a Wharehuia Milroy, ko tenei mea te ihi he momo whakahihi, he mea e toiriiri ai i roto i te tangata, e kumea ai koe kia mahi i tetahi mahi; ko te wehi ano tetahi mea, e ai ki a Wharehuia ka takea mai i te atuatanga, ka pa ki te tapu me te ao wairua. Ko te wana te hoa o te ihi me te wehi, ka ara ake taua wana i roto i a koe ina kitea e koe nga mahi ka mahia e te tangata ke. E pa ana enei ahuatanga ki nga mahi whakaputa korero o enei ra.
 

Traditional forms of performance — karanga, wero, haka, whaikorero and waiata — connect the living to the spirit realm and invoke emotions, known as ‘te ihi’, ‘te wehi’ and ‘te wana’.

The late Wharehuia Milroy explained ihi as a kind of vibration that swells up from your core, compelling you to act; wehi as a connection with atuatanga, a spiritual or god-like state; and wana as a feeling that rises up within you as a result of an action performed by someone else. These qualities also apply to contemporary Maori performance.
 

Bring your class to visit Pūkana

Bring your students to the National Library in Wellington to experience Pūkana — and celebrate the extraordinary breadth and depth of Māori performance in Aotearoa.

The content of the exhibition has the potential to link to a range of curriculum areas, particularly:

  • te reo Māori
  • Māori performing arts
  • drama
  • history.

Our Learning Facilitators are available to guide your students through the exhibition and can help you to provide a meaningful learning experience for your ākonga. We encourage you to arrange a pre-visit to the exhibition with a Learning Facilitator to discuss how to incorporate a visit to the exhibition into your programme of learning.

Email us to book a class visit bookings@hetohu.nz

More information about visiting Pūkana with your class

 

Alexander Turnbull Library Endowment Trust, Te Puna Foundation, ATL100

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