The Cultural Performances are held twice daily at 11.15am and 2.00pm and are included in the price of admission.
Our performers will share with you our culture through the performing arts enlightening you with song and dance.
Following are detailed descriptions of each item:
Karanga - Formal call of welcome by women
The Karanga is the ceremonial call of welcome performed only by the women of the tribe.
The call also clears a spiritual pathway for the ancestors of both visitor and tangata whenua (people of the land) to meet and partake in the ceremonial uniqueness of this welcome.
The call of the women acknowledges the ancestral spirits of the visitors before them and also acknowledges who you are and why you have come.
Whaikorero - Formal speech
The Whaikorero is the formal speech generally made by the men during the formal welcome ceremony or in social gatherings.
The speaker acknowledges the creator “IO” giving thanks for the breath of life and to Mother Earth for all living things.
Acknowledgement to the ancestral meeting house is made to pay tribute to the central ancestor and descendants down through the generations until the present.
Tribute is also paid to the dead who now live on in the spirit realm along with a tribute to the living giving thanks for our continued existence.
The conclusion of the Whaikorero will see the speaker acknowledging the gathering and the purpose which brought everyone together. A message of welcome will be delivered to everyone gathered.
Moteatea - Classical Maori Chant
The Moteatea is a chant performed by both men & woman and sung in unison with no choreography or musical instruments. The Moteatea is usually performed at the end of the Whaikorero to support the speaker and what has been said.
Waiata a ringa - Action Song
Unlike the Moteatea the waiata-a-ringa is commonly sung accompanied with musical instruments and harmonious voices. It is usually performed with choreographed movement of hands to the melody and rhythm of the song. The movements of the hands tell the story of the words that are being sung, the quivering of the hands signifies life, where there is movement, there is life.
Haka - Posture dance, a psychological and physical preparation for battle
There were two types of war haka - one performed without weapons, usually to express public or private feelings, known as the "haka taparahi", and the war haka with weapons, the "peruperu". The "haka" was traditionally performed before going into battle. It was to invoke Tumatauenga, the god of war, and warned the enemy of the fate awaiting him. It involved fierce facial expressions and grimaces, the protrusion of the tongue, eye bulging, grunts and cries, and the waving of war weapons
Today the haka is performed with the same stance and aggression but more so to enlighten visitors.
Poi - Ball & Twine
Originally made of plant fibre called the raupo (bullrush) fashioned into a ball on the end of a string. In the earlier days this instrument was used by the men as an exercise to insure their wrists were supple for greater skill when using the hand weapons used in battle.
Today, with the use of modern materials such as sponge, plastic and twine the woman have taken over this instrument adding melody, movement and style to depict the words they are singing. Both short and long poi dances are displayed.
Tirakau and Tititorea - Stick games both long and short sticks
This was another form of exercise used by the men to help assist with preparation for battle. The short sticks were passed between 2 or more persons for eye co-ordination; the longer stick was manipulated around the body for flexibility and again suppleness of the wrists.
Today these items are performed by both men & women accompanied with song and music for demonstration and entertainment.