Te Pō: The Mean As Māori Show

An ensemble of highly skilled warriors navigate the formidable realms of unintentional greatness.

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Three adult Māori people stand wearing a mix of contemporary and traditional clothing including blue weaved hats. One is brandishing a wooden patu (a Māori weapon). In front of these three people is a young Māori girl wearing traditional and contemporaaczry clothing. She is holding a pūtorino, the deadliest weapon of them all (Māori flute)

Image Credit: Bakri Mahmoud

  • Created and Directed by: Irihipeti Waretini

  • Written and Performed by: Te Ara Hononga

  • Supported by: Maribyrnong City Council

The Māori creation story is the oldest philosophy of Aotearoa and articulates our origin stories. From Te Kore the great nothingness, to Te Pō – the perpetual night, Te Wheiao the stirring and the separation of land and sky, to create Te Ao Mārama, the world of Light.

Te Ara Hononga, a Māori Martial Art school based in Victoria, will showcase their individual and collective journeying through Te Pō. The beautiful darkness from whence we grow. Stirring, wielding and influencing the very teachings of the traditional art form of Mau Rākau. Bringing to the illumination of the stage, the mesmerising magic of Māori culture, storytelling, music, humour, haka and Mau Rākau (Māori weaponry).

“With the very energy, focus and precision it takes us to become warriors, we are giving our tauira an opportunity to meet even more of their greatness, unintentionally and yet very intentionally.” - Irihipeti Waretini, Director/Producer

“Mau Rākau is our Māori genealogical physicalisation of choice; Of the internal challenges we necessarily face head on, to embody our rightful greatness and joy.” - Fallon Te Paa, Poutuakana/Producer

Each of the six shows has been produced as a stand alone production of devised theatre. EVERY show will be different, so you will HAVE to attend more than once! Drawing from the raw experiences of Māori who have settled or were born in Naarm, who are healing the generations of disconnection to culture and homelands through Mau Rākau, the arts, community health and development.

Options of kid-friendly cast (7 & 8 Oct, 2pm). Incredible skill, talent and Māori ingenuity, woven together for a fun-filled weekend for the whole community. Be moved by the magical influence of this chosen family of fighters.

This project received Cash to Create through the Fringe Fund.

About Te Ara Hononga

Established in 2014, Te Ara Hononga is part of the International School of Māori Weaponry: Te Whare Tū Taua ō Aotearoa. With over 4,000 members worldwide, the Melbourne branch is led by Kodie Heremia, Fallon Te Paa and Jeremy Nikora.

Te Ara Hononga is a not-for-profit organisation with 80 active community members who train in taiaha (long range weapon) and patu (short range weapon) as tools of cultural connection and healing through choreography, performance and demonstration.

Choreographed routines of formation and rākau (weaponry) demonstration, originally composed song and haka, conceptual storytelling based on traditional Māori values and humour, Te Ara Hononga's performances are dynamically composed, electrifying and inspire audiences to expand their creativity, identity and connection to culture.

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