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Artists explore traditions at WOMAD

Artists explore traditions at WOMAD

Workshops showcasing traditional Maori instruments (taonga puoro) will feature at WOMAD next weekend.

Taonga puoro composer and practitioner, Horomona Horo, will hold a workshop at Te Paepae on Friday, March 14, to enlighten people to the sounds and style of traditional Maori instruments.

The New Zealand composer and performer whose whakapapa is back to Taranaki, is a member of Waiora group, which blends the ancient Maori world with the modern one by using traditional instruments to create contemporary sounds.

Waiora is part of the WOMAD line-up of artists this year.

Festival-goers will also be treated to some new experiences at Te Paepae, which is an area dedicated to showcasing art, craft, music and words of local iwi and indigenous groups.

On Saturday, March 15, a workshop teaching Aboriginal dance will be held from 1-2pm followed by a didgeridoo workshop and then an Aboriginal weaving demonstration will feature alongside traditional Maori weavers from 7pm.

Other events at Te Paepae include ta moko (Maori tattoo) by Rangi Kipa who will work with Hemi Sundgren, an accomplished Maori carver and researcher working on the revitalisation/regeneration of the Maori language dialect unique to the Taranaki area. He will also feature as an artist in conversation on Saturday at 5pm.

WOMAD New Zealand is a unique experience for many of the artists, primarily due to the cultural welcome and experience they gain while here and Te Paepae, which is supported by Tui Ora Ltd (a leading Maori health provider in Taranaki), is an extension of that experience.

Hayden Wano, chief executive of Tui Ora Ltd, said Te Paepae offered a fantastic platform to showcase local culture in a positive meaningful way. Tui Ora had been involved in WOMAD from the beginning and the organisation had evolved just as the festival had.

Now employing over 160 staff, it understands that many factors feed into a person’s health and wellbeing.

“A person doesn’t live in isolation. For some – Maori or non-Maori – their culture, family, spiritually and creativity is tied up with how they feel physically. Much of our work recognises that holistic approach. It’s not necessarily new or unique to Maori but we’re formalising it, and we have backing from iwi and health leaders to continue this work to remove disparities in health,” Mr Wano said.

“WOMAD’s values of bringing the world to Taranaki, of enhancing our region’s wellbeing as a place to live and visit, align with the vision of Tui Ora of enhancing whānau health and wellbeing. We're still proud to have that association and believe that Te Paepae gives WOMAD in New Plymouth a well-
defined Kiwi flavour."


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