E Papa Waiari

COUNTRY: New Zealand

“E Papā Waiari” is a Māori song from New Zealand that seems to have had several lives. Primarily, “E Papā Waiari” is an old folk song from the Whanganui River that communities along the river would sing in competitions using their own lyrics. It came to be connected to a Māori stick game called “Tī Rākau,” played with three foot long sticks and used to train warriors to adeptly catch the spears thrown by enemies in battle. In the game, as the tempo of the song would increase and increase, players who would drop their sticks would be “out” until there was one remaining winner.

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