15 Mar 2012

Colourful powhiri welcomes WOMAD artists to Taranaki

7:16 pm on 15 March 2012

Hundreds of international musicians and artists were welcomed to Taranaki on Thursday through Owae Marae in Waitara, to officially welcome them to the WOMAD New Zealand festival.

The World Of Music And Dance festival starts on Friday in New Plymouth and brings together indigenous performers from around the globe who share their culture through live stage performances, food stalls, workshops and demonstrations.

The large three day event is hosted in New Plymouth every year.

Event organiser Wharehoka Wano says it's always a colourful powhiri which means so much to the visitors giving them a warm reception and their first taste of Maori culture and Taranaki hospitality.

He says besides the spiritual aspect it provides tangata whenua an opportunity to show the manuhiri who they are and how they treat their guests.

Mr Wano says the festival will kick off with a Maori programme He Rangi Paihuarere that includes a collaboration of artists and their interpretations of the late Dr Hirini Melbourne's compositions who was credited with the revival of taonga puoro or traditional Maori instruments.

Artists include: Ngatapa Black, daughter of Tuhoe soul songstress Whirimako Black, Tama Waipara, Ria Hall and Horomona Horo among many other well-known acts.

Wharehoka Wano says WOMAD is also fortunate to host the leading Te Arawa kapa haka team Te Matarae i Orehu.

WOMAD ends on Sunday 16 March and is based around New Plymouth's TSB Bowl of Brooklands.