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Te Reo (Voice)

Voice is about being heard - saying "hi", kata (laughing), waiata (singing), mana (power).

Jerry Jaxon, ventriloquist dummy, c.1938.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

A dummy with a lot of smarts

Sometimes kata (laughter) really is the best rongoā (medicine).

Way back before pouaka whakaata (TV) came to Auckland, people would get their comedy kicks from radio. Jerry Jaxon looks rākau (wooden) but he was a big star on Auckland's Radio 1ZB. All through the Second World War (1939–45), listeners could tune in to hear Jerry and his human voice George Tollerton joking together over the airwaves. Everyone needs a laugh in rawakore (hard) times. What's your favourite kōrero paki (joke)?

A musical T-shirt saying it loud and proud

Got something important to say? Say it with puoro (music).

If you're a hip-hop tohunga toi (artist) your voice is your taonga whakatangitangi (instrument). The T-shirt pictured below speaks for Papatoetoe-based Dawn Raid Entertainment, which has given a voice to a tini (huge number) of Polynesian artists since the 1990s.

They should be harikoa (proud) - collectively they've sold over 2.5 million records. Are you wearing your favourite band T-shirt i tēnei rā (today)?

T-shirt, 2003, Dawn Raid Entertainment.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Mā te honohono i ngā poraka ka hua ake he kupu!

E pēhea ana te pai o tō reo Māori? I ēnei rā he mōhio kē atu pea koe i ō mātua ki te kōrero i te reo, ā, he pērā i ngā whānau maha. He maha ngā taonga tākaro, ngā pukapuka, ngā ataata, hei āwhina i te tamariki ki te ako i tō rātou reo i te kōhanga reo. Tā te kōhanga he whāngai i te reo me ngā tikanga Māori ki ngā mokopuna. Ko tētahi o ngā kōhanga reo tuatahi rawa o Aotearoa, i te Kura Tuatahi o Richmond Road. He tini ngā kōhanga reo o Tāmaki Makaurau. E hia ngā kupu ka taea e koe te hanga?

Te reo Māori block by block

Reo (Language) keeps tātou (us) connected.

How’s your te reo Māori? Chances are you know more than your mātua (parents). Language toys like the blocks shown below help little kids get started at kōhanga reo-early childhood centres where language, whānau (family) values, tikanga (customs) and history are kept alive.

One of the first kōhanga reo was at Richmond Road Primary and it's still thriving.

Māori alphabet blocks, designed by Johnson Witehira, 2012.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

A little manu (bird) famed for its song

Some of the most amazing voices are from the natural world.

What are some of the bird songs you listen to at home? Can you tell the difference between a tui and a tauhou (silvereye)?

When British settlers first arrived in Auckland, they missed the bird tangi (sounds) of home - as if the cacophony of native birds wasn't enough! So they shipped over new manuhiri (visitors) in the 1860s like the one shown below - it looks very plain but it can sure belt out a rangi (tune).

Turdus philomelos (Song thrush), 2003, collected in Cornwall Park, Auckland.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.

Ko te hīri hei tohu whakaū i te mana

Nā ētahi iwi te Kīngitanga i whakaū ki Taupō, arā, ki Pūkawa i te tau 1858. Ka pōtaea a Pōtatau Te Wherowhero hei Kīngi. Ko tētahi o ngā kāinga noho o Te Wherowhero kei Pukekaroro nei, i tēnei Domain e noho nei tātou i tēnei rā. Te whāinga ia o te Kīngitanga he paihere i te reo me te kaha o ngā iwi o te motu, kia purutia ai te mana Māori, kia mau hoki te whenua. I te rapu tikanga hoki ngā kaumātua mō te noho tahi o ngā iwi e rua i runga i te rangimārie , nā te mea kua mārō ngā whakaritenga hou o te Karauna o Ingarangi, kua kūrakuraku ngā iwi e rua. Nā Tāwhiao, te kīngi Māori tuarua, tama a Te Wherowhero, tēnei hīri, whakamahia ai e ia hei waitohu ā-hīri i āna tuhinga.

Does this get your seal of approval?

We can speak louder as a kotahitanga (group).

Royal seals were used to secure the contents of official tuhinga (documents) - back in the days before email. The one shown below belonged to the second Māori Kīngi (king) Tāwhiao. Some iwi (tribes) set up the Kingitanga (Māori monarchy) in 1858 to provide a strong collective reo (voice) to talk to the British crown. Tāwhiao's father Te Wherowhero was the first king and he lived in the Auckland Domain.

Seal impression, wax, 1877.

Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira.


Cite this article

MacFarlane, Kirsten. Te Reo (Voice). Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. First published: 1 July 2015. Updated: 21 June 2016.
URL: www.aucklandmuseum.com/collections-research/collections/topics/te-reo-voice

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