Songbroker Waiata a te ra: Ariana Tikao: 'Tuia'
Ariana Tikao is a unique performer and composer of heartfelt music in both Te Reo Maori and English. She draws on folk and pop styles with a strong emphasis on Maori chant. Although now living in Wellington, her music in inspired and influenced by her Maori ancestry and the dramatic landscape of Te Waipounamu (the South Island) of New Zealand.
‘Tuia’ was written around the time of the Christchurch earthquakes, and of the song, Ariana explains, “The words in Tuia, are an excerpt from a tauparapara and whaikorero which is a formal part of Maori speechmaking, an ancient artform, where the (generally male) speaker recites whakapapa, incantations, and with his very words he puts things right in the world, everything is brought together in a spiritual sense, and then is put back into their proper place. Stitched above, stitched below, stitched within, stitched without. The living to the living, the dead to the dead.”
“The song draws upon the theme of the Maori Creation story, which features the gods making a conscious decision to move their parents apart "the gods they moved heaven and earth, to enable light to birth" and I think this is a perfect metaphor for what we face right now. Our world has recently been shaken, not from our own making, but the decisions we face now for the future are ours to grasp. The song also relates to the Christian Creation story which also talks about light, "let there be light" which can also be a metaphor for "understanding". In the Maori language, "marama" is light, and "maramatanga" or the state of being in the light, is understanding.”