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Moteatea (sung laments) are at the heart of matauranga Maori or Maori cultural knowledge. They are the central strand of Maori poetry and song, a source of knowledge about tribal history and whakapapa (genealogy), and a living art form. Nga Moteatea: An Introduction / He Kupu Arataki is a short, accessible introduction to Apirana Ngata's classic collection of moteatea and to the power and meaning of traditional Maori song. After outlining the origins of Ngata's four volume NgaMoteatea collection, the book introduces the different styles of Maori song, the role of moteatea in traditional life, the cultural content of the songs, their tribal origins, the composers and composition process and the nature of the poetry in the songs. Ten examples of moteatea are provided to illustrate key themes. This book is a short introduction to moteatea aimed at schools and marae, students and teachers and performers - in fact anyone interested in learning and passing on the art and poetry of nga moteatea. With all text in both English and Maori, and illustrated throughout, Nga Moteatea: An Introduction provides an accessible introduction to a great Maori art.
Auckland University Press
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