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.

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

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How to cite this page:

Mark Derby, 'Māori humor - te whakakata - Traditional forms of humour', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 September 2021)

Story by Mark Derby, published 5 Sep 2013