Tarakihi –The Passionate Chant

When first time I heard it from inside my “Silk Road” audio album by Vienna Boy’s Choir, I didn’t really get the meaning. But instead, the melody was so passionate. Tarakihi means a locust or a cicadas, so it may be said as the Locust Chant. As, Johannes C. Anderson wrote:

The cicada’s song was liked by the Maori above all others; indeed, he called the cicada "the bird of Rehua." Rehua was the lord of kindness, and the reason the Maori held the insect in such estimation was that its cheerful song sounded in the summer when the days were warm and long and food was plentiful. Then the Maori, happy himself, enjoyed the shrill song of the merry cicada.

The song itself was so old, maybe more than 300 years old. Listening to it, we can imaging the old Maori people danced with the crackling sound of cicadas.

E, pakia kia rite
E, ko te rite kia rite
E, takahia kia ngawari
E, torona kei waho
Hoki mai

E whakarongo ai au
Ki te tangi mai
A te manu nei,

A te tarakihi,
I te weheruatanga
o te po

Tara ra-ta kita kita
Tara ra-ta kita kita

Wiri o papa, towene, towene
Wiri o papa, towene, towene

Hope whai-a-ke
Turi whatia
Ei! Ei! Ha!

This ancient song was popularized around 1999 by Kiri te Kanawa. It was a great performance. I just love this song.

Tarakihi by Kiri Te Kanawa

You can hear the sample of MP3 in 265 K here: Tarakihi.mp3. And if you want to know more about this song, you can find more at Tarakihi – FolkSong.org.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Cahya Legawa

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