National | Karanga

Male challenges traditional code of karanga

In many iwi, karanga or  a summoning is typically performed in a wailing voice by a female and is the first to be heard in formal welcoming ceremonies connecting the living to the spiritual world. Pita Tamiana grew up in a Māori world understanding such intricacies of marae protocol, like the karanga, and roles of both men and women. However he says as a male, his heart and soul is connected to the karanga and he'd hope Māori culture could accommodate that.

"I'm coming from a place looking towards the future and those generations after us, to understand what their place is on the marae, understand protocols and etiquette because much of the criticism towards me stems from there."

Pita wants to challenge the traditional roles of men and women around customary protocols, beginning with the karanga and asks the question, who will perform such ceremonies in the absence of a female? Pita was told by his mother that men do not perform karanga as it attracts death. His hapū and whānau have said to Pita they do not wish him to do the karanga, but he says it doesn't change his love of the traditional summoning practice.