Kua Rongo Mai Koe

Composed by Ngapo Wehi
Arranged by Eddie Quaid
Voicing: SATB
Instrumentation: a cappella
Catalog number: AMP 0350
Price: $1.90

Pohiri/Powhiri        Welcome Ceremony

Kua rongo ake au I have heard the voice of welcome greeting me I te reo pohiri e karanga mai nei e Welcoming me as part of the wider world, rise E karanga iho ana up, welcome, welcome. Ki te motu wanui Piki mai kake mai ra Aue No wai te teo Whose voice is it? No wai te mana Whose authority is it that I can see? Kua kitea e aue It's the district of the great harbour ofTara (the Ko te rohe tonu ra capital city). Ko te rohe tonu ra Te Whanga nui a Tara e

A note on the pronunciation of Maori words

Vowels:             A as in are
               E as the e in egg
               I as the ee in see
               O as in or
               U as the o in to

               NG as the ng in singer
               WH as in f

                    Diphthongs:         AI as the ai in aisle
               AO as the ow in bowl
               AU as the o in go
               EA as in ear
               IA as the ia in Sophia
               UA as the ure in lure
               UI as the ui in tui
Each word in Maori gets broken into a syllable after a vowel for pronunciation purposes.

Ngapo (Bub) Wehi holds a position at the Pou Namu Museum in Auckland, New Zealand, where his group, Te Waka Huia Williams, performs traditional Maori music.

The Ten Stages of Pohiri/Powhiri

1. KoNgaTangata(The People)
If there are no people, then there can be no powhiri. There are two groups required for a Powhiri to commence, Tangata Whenua (hosts) and Manuhiri (visitors). The minimum number required for a Powhiri is four -two males and two females -one female to do the karanga ( call) and one male to do the mihi (speech) on either side.

2. Inoi (Prayer)
An inoi is said to ensure the safety of the people and to ensure that all stages are carried out without disturbance. An inoi should be said by both Manuhiri and Tangata Whenua.

3. Wero (Challenge)
Not often seen on a regular basis today, wero were traditionally carried out to ascertain the intentions of the visiting group. Wero were executed by the fastest and fittest male warriors of the Tangata Whenua. The way in which the taki (dart) was placed down and picked up would determine whether the Manuhiri had come in peace or with warlike intentions.

4. Karanga (Call)
The karanga is the first voice to be heard in powhiri. The karanga is traditionally carried out by a female elder. The caller for the Tangata Whenua holds the title ofkai karanga and is the first to call. The caller who replies for the Manuhiri holds the title of Kai whakatu. The purpose of the karanga is to weave a spiritual rope allowing safe passage for the Manuhiri to enter onto Te Marae nui atea o Tumatauenga (courtyard in front of the Whare Tupuna or ancestral house).

5. Haka Powhiri (Welcome Dance)
The Haka Powhiri is executed by the Tangata Whenua. The purpose of the Haka Powhiri is to pull the waka of the Manuhiri onto the Marae atea with the rope that was woven during the karanga and to uplift the mana (prestige) of the Tangata Whenua, their marae, iwi, hapu and their tupuna (ancestors).

6. Mihi (Speeches)
Traditionally only the experts in the art of Whaikorero (Oratory) would stand to speak to the opposite group. The purpose of the mihi is to acknowledge and weave together the past, present, and future, by acknowledging the creator, guardians, the hunga mate (the dead), the hunga ora (the living- those present at the powhiri) and laying down the take or kaupapa (the reason) for the Powhiri or event that will take place.

7. Oriori/Waiata (Chant/Song)
The purpose of the Oriori is to show that the people support the speaker and what he has said. Oriori often compliment what has been said and the occasion surrounding the powhiri, acknowledging the speakers' whakapapa (genealogy) or the group itself.

8. Koha (Gift)
Koha is given by the Manuhiri to the Tangata Whenua. The koha is laid by the last speaker of the Manuhiri to indicate that they have no more speakers and have finished. The koha is the first contact between the Tangata Whenua and the Manuhiri. Traditionally koha were in the form of precious materials -pounamu, whale bone, korowai ( cloaks) and numerous other taonga. Delicacies were also given. In today's society, money is the normal form ofkoha. The purpose of the koha is to help with upkeep of the marae and to cover general running costs associated with powhiri. The size of the koha shows the mana of the Manuhiri.

9. Hongi (Traditional form of greeting) The hongi is the first physical contact between the two groups. It is not the widely popularized 'rubbing of noses' but the gentle pressing of nose and forehead.

10. Hakari/Kai (Feast/Eating) This is the final stage of the powhiri. It is the stage where the tapu of the powhiri is removed by the sharing ofkai. The tangata whenua and the manuhiri are now one.

Click here to see a sample.

Click here to listen to a recording (MP3).

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