Waiata

Waiata or songs and chants are an important part of Māori culture. The words and expressions preserve the wisdom and knowledge of ancestors. There are many forms of waiata used for different purposes including oriori (lullabies), waiata tangi (laments), waiata aroha (songs of love), ngeri (a type of chant), manawawera (a form of challenge) and waiata poi (poi songs). When performing a waiata, it is important to choose a song appropriate for the occasion. Waiata are often performed at the end of whaikōrero (speeches) to support what has been said. They can also be sung to remove tapu (restrictions) or to engage, entertain, calm, or comfort the listener. Traditionally, waiata were always performed in unison with very few actions and with no musical instruments or choreography. While this is still the case today, contemporary waiata are commonly sung with accompaniment, include harmony, and are performed with complicated actions and choreography. Different iwi (tribes) often have their own waiata, with many composed centuries ago. However, there are a lot of waiata that are now generally accepted as common property. This often happens when a waiata has an appealing tune or the lyrics express the sentiments of a tribe so well that it is taken over by others.

Tēnā koutou, e hoa mā Tēnā koutou, e hoa mā Kua tae mai nei i tēnei rā Nö reira rā, e hoa mā Kia ora rā, koutou katoa Kua rongo hoki ahau Kua rongo hoki ahau Kua rongo hoki ahau Kei te haere mai koutou Nö reira rā, e hoa mā Kia ora rā, koutou katoa Māku rā pea Māku rā pea Māku rā pea Māku koe e awhi e Ki te ara, ara Tupu Māku koe e awhi e x 2 E papa Waiari I will perhaps I will perhaps I will help you Upon the pathway, of progress I will indeed help you Greetings, oh friends Arrived here this day Therefore, oh friends, Good health, to you all I had heard of course I had heard of course I had heard of course That you were all coming Therefore, oh friends, Good health, to you all

E Hine hoki mai rā E Papa waiari Taku nei mahi Taku nei mahi Hei tuku roimata E Aue E ka mate au E Hine hoki mai rā Māku e kaute Ō hīkoitanga Māku e kaute Ō hīkoitanga E Aue E ka mate au E Hine hoki mai rā E Hine hoki mai rā Hokihoki tonu mai Hokihoki tonu mai Te wairua o te tau Ki te awhi reinga Ki tēnei kiri e Ki tēnei kiri e Ka pinea koe e au Ki te pine o te aroha Ki te pine e kore nei Te Waikura e Te Waikura e

Girl return unto me O elder Waiari All I seem to do All I seem to do Is to shed tears Alas, I will die Girl so return unto me I will count Your footsteps I will count Your footsteps Alas, I will die Girl so return unto me Girl so return unto me

Return The spirit of the loved one To give me a fleeting embrace Skin to skin Skin to skin I will adorn you With an ornament of love With an ornament that will never Rust away Rust away