6 Jun 2012

Museum show highlights Taranaki dialect

6:46 pm on 6 June 2012

Taranaki reo campaigners say they want an exhibition opening at Puke Ariki museum in New Plymouth this week to impress upon the public the importance of the region's unique dialect.

Taranaki Reo, Taranaki Tangata runs until late August and came about as part of an on-going relationship between Te Reo o Taranaki Charitable Trust and Puke Ariki Museum.

Trust manager Mitchell Ritai says he hopes the show will inspire more students from the rohe to learn their mita or dialect and give the public an insight into what makes Taranaki tribes stand apart from other iwi.

It will give te reo students more of an understanding of how the language is spoken in Taranaki compared to other regions, and also provide more awareness about the key individuals who pushed for the revival and retention of Taranaki reo.

The show features historical manuscripts written by three notable tupuna: Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, Riwha Titokowaru, and Te Kahui Kararehe who are at the heart of the show.

Taranaki speakers - including their neighbours in Whanganui - are known for dropping the "H" sound - which turns into a glottal stop - similar to Cook Islands Maori and other Polynesian languages.

Taranaki Reo, Taranaki Tangata begins on 6 June and runs until late August with events that will also mark Puanga - the Taranaki version of Matariki - the Maori new year.