Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Nō te uri ahau ā Rākaihautū, Whatu Māmoe, Tahupōtiki. Ko Waitaha rātau ko Kāti Māmoe, ko Kai Tahu kā iwi. Ko Te Wāhi Pounamu te whenua. Ko Aoraki rāua ko Hikaroroa kā mauka. Ko Te Tai o Araiteuru te moana. Ko Waikouaiti te awa. Kā Puna karikari a Rākaihautū wai Māori kā roto. Ko Puketeraki te papatipu marae. Ko kā waka e toru: ko Uruao, ko Araiteuru me Takitimu hoki. Ko kā hapū ko Kāti Huirapa, ko Kāti Hawea, a, ko Kāi Te Ruahikihiki hoki ka noho ai. Ko te rūnaka, ko Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki. Ko Heremi Harpur taku ikoa. Ko Harpur tōku tūpuna ikoa Airihi. Ko te tikaka o tāna ikoa ko te harp, he momo pūoro whakataki. Ko kaiwhakatakitaki rāua ko whakairo kā taoka pūoro āku mahi. Kai a te Rangatira, he kōrero. Tohu o te Rangatira, he manaaki. Mahi a te Rangatira, he whakatira i te iwi. Mō tātau, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei. Tihei mauriora!
Taonga pūoro are the musical instruments of the Māori people of Aotearoa (New Zealand). The name taonga pūoro means singing treasures. This name gives an insight into how highly the instruments are valued, both for the beauty of the sound, the instrument itself and the story of the taonga. There are many different types of taonga pūoro, from shell trumpets, to unique types of flutes, spun instruments and bird callers. All instruments are seen as individuals as they have their own unique voice and decoration. They are grouped into families according to how they were created in the ancestral past. These stories are shared through the sounds of the taonga and the carvings on them. There are many different uses for taonga pūoro, from open entertainment to sacred ritual use. In either context, when played, they somehow transmit an appreciation for the spiritual dimensions from which they come.
Jeremy Cloake was born in Whanganui ā Tara (Wellington), Aotearoa and is now based at Piha beach in Tāmaki Makau-rau (Auckland). His Māori tūpuna (ancestors) are Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe and Kai Tahu (tribal groups) from Te Waka o Aoraki (the South Island). He is sometimes referred to as Heremi, the Te Reo (Māori language) transliteration for Jeremy. Harpur is his Irish ancestral name. Harpur is a musicians name taken from harp that literally means harp and pipe player. He shares ancestry with "Australia’s most recognised colonial poet” Charles Harpur. Jeremy values and acknowledges all aspects of his ancestry and the important role his ancestors have in shaping his future.
Jeremy values the fact that each taonga he makes will continue to represent him long after he is gone. For this reason, he is a meticulous carver who makes all of his instruments with the utmost care and respect for the whakapapa of the taonga. His skills as a carver and as a musician means that he is able to refine his instruments from both perspectives, resulting in excellent musical instruments that are beautufully decorated. He works with pounamu (NZ greenstone), niho parāoa (sperm whale teeth) kauae parāoa (sperm whale jawbone) and rākau o Aotearoa (NZ native timbers). In most cases, Jeremy makes each taonga to individual request as it is important for him to carve the taonga with suitable intention and design relevant to the individual or family he is making it for. Occasionally taonga will be listed for sale on this website. Jeremy's work is in private collections within Aotearoa and in Japan, Europe and the UK. Documentation and Toi Iho certification is supplied with all instruments.
Jeremy Cloake is currently working on a scholarship awarded to him by AMP. This scholarship supports him to carve instruments for marae and other institutions around Aotearoa. As part of this scholarship, he has worked with the British museum and museums in Aotearoa. He sometimes hosts educational taonga pūoro workshops where people can learn about these instruments. Most often this is in a seminar type situation, where Jeremy shows his work and talks about the different types of taonga pūoro and demonstrates how some of them are made and played.
The MP3 file above is titled Ata Hapara, meaning dawn. This track starts with the sound of kōauau koiwi being gently rubbed together, then the whisper of a pūtatara being cross blown as a karanga weka calls and a porotiti starts spinning. The wail of the pūtorino begins as the porotiti and karanga weka sing, finishing with three trumpet calls from the pūtatara.
In the Māori language karanga can be translated as to call or summon and manu means bird or winged creature. Therefore karanga manu are bird calling instruments. They are deliberately made to mimic bird calls. They are small cross blown flutes made from pounamu (NZ greenstone) or bone that are played with pursed lips. They can produce a surprising variety of sounds when played well.
Karanga manu are most often used to mimic bird calls for the purpose of attracting and interacting with them. This can be for the simple pleasure of enjoying the interaction with the birds and their song, or as part of Māori spiritual practices. In Māori tradition, birds are respected and valued animals. They are sometimes seen as important messengers from the spirit world. Although karanga manu are a small and seemingly insignificant instrument, when employed in this way, they can serve a very important spiritual function. They are also used in contemporary Māori music and performance as an instrument to create a forest like atmosphere.
Karanga manu are also known by the less common term kōauau pūtangitangi. This term reveals a more practical use for the instrument, employed by ancestral Māori. Kōauau is the common cross blown Māori flute, that can also be used to attract birds. Pūtangitangi are large goose-like ducks endemic to Aotearoa. They are commonly known as paradise ducks. Early Māori hunted pūtangitangi in favoured regions and employed this instrument to lure the birds close enough to be captured. Hunting was done outside of the breeding season to ensure healthy populations remained. Today pūtangitangi can be seen on farm land and open grasslands throughout Aotearoa. Both the male and female have bold plumage, the male having a black head and barred black body, the female having a white head with a chestnut body. Karanga manu are often worn around the neck as beautiful and functional pendants, readily available for an opportunity to communicate with the birds.
Karanga weka are small bird callers made specifically to replicate the call of a weka, a flightless bird endemic to Aotearoa. Weka are known for having an inquisitive nature. In Aotearoa, there are two types of weka, the rare north island weka and the more common south island weka. The endemic and native birds of Aotearoa are a very important part of taonga pūoro in the creation of various instruments and the songs that they produce. Birds also served as an important food source for early Māori. A skilled player of karanga weka was able to replicate the weka's call and because of its curiosity, it could be lured close enough to be snared. Māori often stored weka and gave them to guests as part of welcoming them.
Karanga weka can also be played melodically and produce a high pitch sound that is often described as being pure and uplifting. They are also noted for having the ability to cut through other sounds. This cutting quality would seem useful as a communication tool that could be audible yet disguised within other sounds of the forest. It would seem likely that karanga weka were also used by hunting or travelling parties to communicate with each other, sending various messages with different types of calls, within a blanket of numerous other bird calls and forest sounds. Karanga weka can be made from pounamu (NZ greenstone) bone and wood. They are small instruments and can also be worn as beautiful pendants.
Pictured: Karanga weka made by Jeremy Cloake from a pounamu pebble collected close to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound). It has been adorned with a maire rau nui toggle holding weka feathers and is strung to be worn as a functional pendant.
Kōauau are the most common of all the Māori flutes. They are part of the flute family and come to us from the atua (spiritual entity) of flute music Hine Raukatauri. In the past, kōauau were most commonly made from wood, albatross wing bone, the stems of certain plants and sometimes human bone. Kōauau is also the name for a species of hollow kelp, which can also be used to make instruments from. Today kōauau are made from a variety of materials including wood, bone or sometimes stone. Ostrich and beef bone are commonly used today as well as mataī wood.
Most kōauau have 3 wenewene (finger holes) although there are several older examples that have 4 or more. The kaiwhakangāwari is the wenewene closest to the mouth, the kaiwhakahī is the middle wenewene and the kaiwhakakaha is the wenewene closest to the distal end.
The end opening of the kōauau is cross blown, which produces a rich and melodic sound. The sound is manipulated in micro tonal shifts rather than jumping from one note to the next. This subtle shift in sound requires a sensitivity that often takes years of practise to develop well. Most often there is just one end of the kōauau that is played, however there are some older kōauau that appear to have been made to be played