Karanga Weka 'Weka Whakatoi'

Karanga Weka 'Weka Whakatoi'


About this item: In the Hall of Mankind of the British Museum lies a small soapstone carving like a nguru but with only the one finger hole at its upturned end. It was a great surprise to this researcher when he put it to his lips and heard the distinctive weka call that cheekily echoed from it so far from home.

From replicas of that first soapstone remnant we find they can also be played as a melodic instrument or be used to add weka’s vocal colour to a song. By flicking the finger off the end hole while blowing, the cheeky call of the weka is produced. By manipulating the size of the end hole with your finger it also becomes a charming flute.

To communicate with weka the dimensions may need to be changed to suit the local conditions as trials show that weka have dialects which require different pitches of instrument in order to elicit a response. These communication calls have been likened to cell phone rings.

About Taonga Puoro: In Maori Music traditions musical instruments are members of the families of the Gods. Tunes are named Rangi after the Sky Father to whom they ascend after being sounded and Rhythms  come from the heartbeats of Papa, the Earth Mother. Their children, Hine pu te Hue, Tane, and Tawhiri Matea, their Great uncle Tangaroa and a grandchild, Raukatauri, Goddess of flute music, are most of the ancestors of a wide range of musical instruments. Click here hear to learn the origin story of Maori flutes.

As in tradition much of the work put into instruments was for their carved stories therefore I prefer to work to your budget while adding appropriate carving.

Protocol: Traditionally these treasures are given personal names and you are invited to continue that tradition.

Material: The recycled Matai used for these because of its straight grain and sound qualities has been treated with a special food safe, organic burnishing oil. Several coats give it years of lasting but if well used and wear shows around the mouthpiece or inside it just needs recoating. Shells and Feathers are imported and so already screened for pest and any border limiting conventions.

If required Baby Wipes make easily available sanitisers.

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