Art and performance

A waiata composed by Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou) that welcomed home returning Māori soldiers is still sung today.

Apirana Ngata by Stanley Polkinghorne Andrew, 1914. Alexander Turnbull Library. (external link)

Apirana Ngata by Stanley Polkinghorne Andrew, 1914. Alexander Turnbull Library. 1/1-014489-G.

Context

People commemorate in many different ways, including through a variety of artistic expressions. “Karangatia Rā” is a waiata written by Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngati Porou) to welcome home returning Māori soldiers. This song, and other waiata, are still used today in performances that remember people and events.

Songs in English that became popular during the war are also still heard and sung today, and can provoke strong memories and emotions. “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” is one example of such a song.

The arts often play an important role in commemoration, for example, through paintings, drama, poetry, dance, sculpture, and other creative productions.

Key questions

  • What can we observe?
  • What do we already know?
  • How might people view artworks about war in different ways?

Possible discussion questions

  • When you listen to this song and read the lyrics, how do you feel and what images come to your mind?
  • What songs do you know that commemorate people or events?
  • How can music make you feel?
  • How can other kinds of art make you feel?
  • How can artworks tell stories?
  • How might official and unofficial art about war be different?
  • How might artworks created by artists at the time tell different stories from those created today to commemorate war?
  • Do you think the importance of music has changed in the last 100 years?
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