Friday, March 20, 2009

Song and Dance

Image courtesy Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, Rotorua
Whakarewarewa Maori Village has been home to the Ngati Wahiao people for more than 200 years and today visitors can take tours of this unique ‘living’ thermal village to see first-hand how local Maori have made the most of this steamy environment. There’s no more striking setting to witness the stirring cultural performances by Te Pakira cultural members (descendants from the local tribe). With steam hissing and scalding mud bubbling in the background, the 30-minute performances cover the gamut from the haka (Maori warrior dance), action songs, long and short poi performances to the famous and very beautiful song, “Pokarekareana." The local children learn these songs and dances from an early age and as they grow up they will usually perform on stage, not only to entertain visitors to the village, but to develop their skills so they can participate in local, regional and national kapa haka competitions.

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