Listen to one of the best-known traditional Māori waiata, ‘Pinepine te kura’, from Ngāti Kahungunu, sung here by the southern Hawke's Bay kapa group Tamatea Arikinui. This waiata is an example of an oriori, a chant composed for a young (sometimes unborn) child, usually of noble birth. Oriori typically contain complex references to the child's kinship connections, to recent and ancient history, and to myths and gods. 'Pinepine te kura' is addressed to Te Umurangi, the ‘little tiny treasure’ descended from Te Whatuiāpiti, a great Ngāti Kahungunu chief and warrior. In 1888 prophet and war leader Te Kooti composed a new version of this oriori, also called 'Pinepine te kura', in reference to his long pursuit by members of Ngāti Kahungunu, among other tribes. The photo shows the meeting house Te Whatuiāpiti, which stands at Rakautatahi marae, Takapau, and is named for the chief referred to in this waiata.
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Courtesy of Rakautatahi Marae and Tamatea Arikinui