Story: Māori humor - te whakakata

Wit in whaikōrero

Wit in whaikōrero

The expressions on the faces of his listeners reveal Taranaki orator Ruka Broughton's ability as a humorist, even during a formal whaikōrero (speech) on a marae. Puns, anecdotes and jesting insults, sometimes extremely rude, are valid and admired features of whaikōrero. Broughton's stance shows that the physical delivery of humour in oratory can be vital to its effectiveness on an audience.

Using this item

Penguin Random House
Reference: Anne Salmond, Hui: a study of Māori ceremonial gatherings. Auckland: A. H & A. W. Reed, 1976
Photograph by Jeremy Salmond

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Māori humor - te whakakata - Traditional forms of humour', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/40389/wit-in-whaikorero (accessed 24 July 2019)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013