Story: Waiata tawhito - traditional Māori songs

'E pā tō hau'

'E tō hau', a very famous waiata tangi, or lament, was probably written by Rangiamoa of Ngāti Apakura, one of the tribes of Waikato. Ngāti Apakura used to live at Rangiaowhia, an undefended settlement near Te Awamutu. The tribe did not take part in the Waikato war, but Rangiaowhia was attacked by British troops, and after the 1864 battle of Ōrākau its occupants were forced from their homes. Later their lands were confiscated. A section of Ngāti Apakura travelled towards Taupō. Rangiamoa's cousin Te Wano paused to gaze upon his former home from the promontory of Titiraupenga. He died there and was buried in a cave. In lamenting the death of her cousin, Rangiamoa was mourning the fate of all her people. Listen to 'E pā tō hau' .

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How to cite this page:

Rawinia Higgins and Arini Loader, 'Waiata tawhito - traditional Māori songs - Traditions of waiata', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 August 2022)

Story by Rawinia Higgins and Arini Loader, published 22 Oct 2014