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Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue Perform at Taipei American School

Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue Perform at Taipei American School

By TAS Communications

Throughout the fall semester, our Lower School students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 have engaged in a deep investigation of Māori peoples of New Zeeland as they learn to honor and celebrate Indigenous people around the world. This unit explored the Māori history, culture, music, and relevance as part of the Austronesian migration – an expansion that has roots in Taiwan!  

As part of this unit, students learned a haka in the Māori language, the Ti Rakau Māori stick game, and created their own compositions based on the natural themes that are found in Māori music. Earlier in the unit, Ms. Tina Wilson, Director of the New Zeeland Trade Development Center, and her family came to help our students work on their haka, and perfect their technique. On Friday, December 1, the students will perform for their family and fellow classmates in a greatly-anticipated series of shows.

Yet, on Wednesday, November 22, they had the opportunity of a lifetime: to perform their haka for Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue, a world-renowned group of kapa haka performers founded in 1958 from the Te Arawa rohe (the Te Arawa region) and affiliated with the Ngāti Whakaue iwi (the Ngāti Whakaue tribe).  

As the performers introduced themselves and took their starting formations, our students performed their haka with energy and enthusiasm. What followed was an unbelievable hour of cultural exchange, from breathtaking performances of Māori poi, a dance performed by women using a ball on string, to the unforgettable kapa haka, the war dance performed by men. Many students were called onto the stage to dance together in a beautiful moment of real-life learning.

We are deeply grateful to the New Zeeland Trade Development Center and Ms. Tina Wilson, Director, for making this moment of deep learning possible for our students, and to each and every member of Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue for sharing their time, talent, and energy with our community!  

As Indigenous Heritage Month at TAS comes to a close, we hope you have enjoyed a look into just one of the ways that our students are learning to honor, celebrate, and uplift Indigenous peoples from around the world.

You can learn more about Te Kapa Haka o Ngāti Whakaue on their Facebook and Instagram, and keep an eye out for photos and videos of this amazing afternoon on our TAS social media!