Overseas festival organisers excited at kapa haka prospects

Kapa haka extends its international reach.  The top two teams from Te Matatini will be heading over to Scotland in August to be apart of the biggest festival in the world, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.  Officials from this festival were invited to attend the Mātaatua Kapa Haka regionals at the weekend to get a taste of what they can expect.

It was evident as the multitudes right across the Bay of Plenty descended upon Tauranga, people were definitely drawn to the event.  So much so, a special overseas contingent were amongst those in attendance.

Says the organiser of the Assembly section of the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, William Burdett-Coutts, that he was “deeply impressed by it.  It's so beautiful to watch and to see that tradition survive over years, (and) to hear the story behind it all.”

These dignitaries from Scotland were invited along because of the fact two kapa haka have been invited along to their biggest festival ever, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo later on this year.

Chairman of Te Matatini, Herewini Parata says, “the two teams are Te Waka Huia and Te Whanau a Apanui who placed 1st and 2nd at the Matatini competition held in Rotorua in 2013. Te Matatini decided that both groups would be great representatives of Māori and the culture.”

25 performers from each team will be going as representatives for Māoridom.  The Military Tattoo organisers hope to showcase the Māori culture not only in Scotland, but all across the world.

William adds that “everyone knows haka through international rugby.  We all get very excited everytime at the start of a rugby match but no one really knows its tradition and history and where it comes from and the background.”

Although the Military Tattoo itself does not commence until August, there will definitely be a high level of Māori performing arts in attendance.