Taonga Pūoro (traditional Māori musical instruments)

This month, our International, Greymouth High students, J Te Reo class, and visitors from Whare Manaaki got to learn about Taonga Pūoro.

Last Friday, our International and Greymouth High students, J Te Reo class, and visitors from Whare Manaaki got to learn about Taonga Pūoro, their whakapapa, and their multiple functions in ceremony, in healing, and in musical performance

Traditionally music was played for various reasons such as sending messages, call to arms, mark the stages of life, for entertainment, to heal, to mimic the call of native birds, warn of imminent danger, announce important events, the birth of a child and much more

Ancient Māori musicians were inspired by the sounds of nature: birdsong, crashing waves and wind; and they used natural objects to re-create these sounds. Bone and wood were carved into wind instruments and humming discs. Gourds and shells were used to create ‘bells’ that produced sounds, while flax and leaves were used to bind the instruments.

Hue, or gourd, are cross-blown or swung like a Poi, these mimic the call of manu (birds) like Kākāpō, Kererū, Weka, and Tui.

Pūmoana, Pūtātara and Pūpu are shell instruments used across the Pacific to herald the birth of new life, mourn the death of loved ones, signal the beginning of ceremonies, and connect us to the beauty and power of nature.

Nguru-nose flutes of all shapes and sizes produce gentle sounds that calms the spirit and can be used to lull a baby to sleep or help us mourn the passing of a loved one

Making music is how we pass on our heritage. It is the common thread that connects individuals to their origins.

Music is an effective tool for supporting students in learning beyond reading and writing. Music gives students unique opportunities to express themselves creatively and build confidence. Several studies done over the years by educationists and neurophysiologists have shown that music has a big influence on the cognitive and psychophysical development of humans..