Story: Waiata hōu – contemporary Māori songs

Kīngi Tāhiwi

Kīngi Tāhiwi (right) is shown with rugby player George Nēpia in Sydney, Australia, just before a rugby match between the Māori team and New South Wales in 1935. The multi-talented Tāhiwi, who was also a rugby official, wrote the famous waiata 'He pūru taitama', which compares a young man to a vigorous bull. Tāhiwi composed much of his music on a long-necked five-string banjo.

This recording of 'He pūru taitama' was made in Sydney in 1930 by The Tahiwis – Kīngi Tāhiwi's brother and sisters, Hēnare, Hinehou and Wena Tāhiwi. In 1998 a digitally remastered version of the recordings was re-released.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, New Zealand Free Lance Collection (PAColl-0785)
Reference: 1/2-C-22477-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Sound file from Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision – Radio New Zealand collection. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision (78RPM Collection/Reference number ID 29429)

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How to cite this page:

Piri Sciascia and Paul Meredith, 'Waiata hōu – contemporary Māori songs - Waiata-ā-ringa – Māori action songs', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 June 2022)

Story by Piri Sciascia and Paul Meredith, published 22 Oct 2014