1) What is Māori music?
ANSWER: The music of the Māori people that we represent is the traditional Māori music, or pūoro Māori, as composed or performed by the native Māori people of New Zealand, and includes a wide variety of different folk music styles that are integrated with Māori poetry and dance.
2) What instruments are typical of Māori musicians?
ANSWER: Taonga pūoro is the collective name given to traditional Māori musical instruments. These include various types of flutes, wooden trumpets, idiophones, percussion instruments and bullroarers. However, pre-European Māori music was predominantly sung and in the early 20th century, a revival of the vocal traditions was witnessed with the ‘action song’ (waiata-a-ringa) in which stylised dance movements with standardised meanings were synchronised with the singing. It was then that the sung entrance and exit, poi and the most famous of all the haka- the Māori war dance- was born.
3) Are Māori Arts part of Tiki culture?
ANSWER: No, because even though the word “tiki” can be traced to New Zealand, whilst ‘Māori Arts’ are real ‘Tiki culture’ is an invention of American popular culture. Tiki culture was born in California in the 1930s and was inspired by the sentimental appeal of an idealized South Pacific, particularly Hawaii, Polynesia and Oceania, as viewed through the experiences of American tourists. Tiki Bars like Trader Vic’s opened borrowing imagery from Māori and Hawaiian cultures. For some people Tiki bars, which have become quite popular of late in the UK, represent nostalgia for earlier colonial times, misusing and exploiting Polynesian iconography. Others would contradict this view and argue that Tiki Bars celebrate Polynesian culture. And I guess we know which are the ones who are pouring the Mai Tais!
4) What events would best feature Māori performers?
ANSWER: Any private or corporate party with a venue that is Polynesian or Tiki-themed in terms of its decor. Like a Tiki Bar, for example. Or any event with a New Zealand association such as a rugby match featuring or celebrating New Zealand’s All Blacks. In fact, any event that requires a big impact performance would welcome the haka!
5) Can I request a song from your Māori performers?
ANSWER: Yes, if it is part of the typical repertoire of their traditional folk performance arts. Like the haka, which is a performance with a massive impact at any event.
6) Are there soloist options from your Māori performers?
ANSWER: No. The traditional folk performances of the Māori are best expressed in a minimum size of 10 performers.
7) Do your Māori performers require a lot of space for their performance?
ANSWER: No more than 1.5m x 1.5m is required for each performer, but for a full show as many as 10-20 performers may be involved.
8) Are all the Māori performers male?
ANSWER: While some performances like the haka may traditionally be all-male, our Maori groups will always feature women as well- equally so most-times.
9) Do your Māori performers play as a mobile unit rather than just in a staging area?
ANSWER: There is a lot of movement involved in the performance, but the best audience experience is to be had when the Māori performance is staged- either as a floor show or- better still- on a raised stage or platform.
10) Would Māori performers be good for my event if I want audience participation?
ANSWER: Absolutely. Our Māori performers always include audience participation- unless they have been specifically instructed not to do this, of course!