November 20, 2015
Te Matarae remembers kapa haka sensations
It’s 21 years since Te Matarae i o Rehu first stirred up the stage at Te Matatini with radical costuming and choreography, and the kapa haka will be celebrating the journey tomorrow at the Rotorua Novotel.
Leader Wetini Mitai Ngatai says there will be time to remember former members like founder Te Irirangi Tiakiawa, the trophies the roopu has won and the places around the world it has gone.
He says the use of maro or traditional waist girdles came because there was no money in the beginning for elaborate costumes.
"The boys were like ‘I don’t want to wear that, it’s bare bottom.’ I said ‘No, there’s be moko on the nono, moko from the waist down.’ They didn’t like that so you will see in the first regional they are wearing backs but when they saw it and they saw it with the moko on they wanted to go without the back and my sister-in-law said ‘No, I did those things, you didn’t want to wear the one-piece, so you are damn going to wear it today,’ and so they wore it," he says.
Wetini Mitai Ngatai says Te Matarae i o Rehu has consciously looked back to the past as it tried to shed some of the colonial ideas and styles that have been imposed on traditional Maori performing arts.
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