Topic: Kapa Haka

Kaumātua say the context in which kapa haka is used has changed

By Leah Te Whata
  • North Island: East Coast

Kaumātua at Te Mana Kuratahi say that the context in which kapa haka is used has changed over the years. Te Kāea spoke to some kaumātua about the evolution of haka.

Memories flow as kaumātua watch on at day 3 of Te Mana Kuratahi.

Te Whānau ā Apanui kaumātua Patricia Teneti says, “In my day you had to to understand and speak te reo Māori before you could stand.”

Tūhoe kaumātua Leena Hake Natana says, "It was the old people that taught us, these days it's young people.”

Te Whānau ā Apanui kaumātua Patricia Teneti says the context in which kapa haka is used now is different to when she was a child.

“The difference is we didn't have TV and thing like today, if you went to a birthday or a wedding, kapa haka was the entertainment.”

Ngāti Awa kaumātua Cappy Karaitiana agrees.

“For our kids and our grandkids it's for school, our kapa haka was for our grandparents, our parents, our elders and our soldiers at the time.”

However, the thing that has remained through the evolution of kapa haka is that te reo Māori remains front and centre.

“That aspect is still the same and that makes me happy.”

Mrs Teneti says she would like to see kapa haka make a comeback as the preferred form of entertainment among future generations.