Taonga puoro helping to heal a nation

Jerome Kavanagh, a taonga puoro specialist, is tapping the sacred sounds of traditional Māori instruments to help heal people from the earthquake-ravaged town of Palu in Indonesia deal with their post-traumatic stress. 

“We’re going to hold an event here and all the funds that are raised will go to a healing centre in Palu to help people deal with the trauma from the earthquakes and tsunami.”

More than one and a half thousand people died after a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck near Central Sulawesi last month, setting off a destructive tsunami that hit the coastal city of Palu.

Kavanagh says they’re using instrumental meditation called Oro Atua to help with relaxation.

“Oro for me is the vibration and Atua is the energy of the natural world, our Atua and they come through the voices of our puoro."

He says there are more than 300 local iwi who suffered from the aftermath of the earthquake.

“We’re linking up with with the hau kāinga.  It’s important that we’re not coming here as tourists but linking up with our indigenous cousins. “

After the challenge of suicide when he was younger, Kavanagh discovered the healing powers of traditional instrumental meditation and is now sharing it with the world.