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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




This is also a monotone, rhythmic chant with a more secular purpose than the karakia, sung at a faster tempo and accompanied by defiant gestures to emphasise the mood of the recital, which is usually abusive. The words often recall personal or tribal quarrels or recount injuries done to ancestors. Sir A. T. Ngata said that “when an abusive song is given on the marae the scene often resembles a riot”.

Other types of monotone chant are the “ngeri” and “hanihani”, but these are more often shouted than sung and are more accurately described as action songs of the haka type.

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