Saturday, December 6, 2014

Seasonal Pukana

Pukana = (verb) to stare wildly, dilate the eyes - done by both genders when performing haka and waiata to emphasise particular words.  

Kapa Haka = (noun) concert party, haka group, Māori cultural group, Māori performing group.                                                                   

Nativities and traditional Christmas plays don't seem to be the done thing over here, unless you attend a religious school. As we are committed atheist/jedi/wika/agnostic (depending on what side of the bed I get out of) our kids attend the local non committed primary.

It has been a bit of a revelation to see what local schools get up to a Christmas and this year ours decided to produce an end of term Pukana Kapa Haka. This involved the whole school performing in the evening on the playing field. The lucky parents had picnics and strawberries and cream whilst cheering them on. It was rather awesome and the kids were so enthusiastic you could hear their voices echo off the surrounding hills.

My girls could sing all of the songs in Maori and have even got the hang of using the poi (the ball on the end of a string which is swung about rhythmically during the dance). Unfortunately they don't know the meaning of everything they sing but I'm impressed that they have learnt the words in such a relatively short period of time.

So my two girls born in the middle of the traditional English counties of Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire are now performing Haka's at Christmas on the other side of the world. Rather cool really :)

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