Our Museum:

*is housed in the restored 1918 BNZ building on Main Street

*researches the history of Otaki and the surrounding district

*collects objects, stories, and images of interest

* has an extensive photographic collection and many early copies of the town's newspaper, the Otaki Mail

* holds archival material relating to the town, including records from Otaki School and the Otaki Borough Council

* records and collects oral history interviews

* tells Otaki's stories through a changing exhibition programme

* is digitising its collections.

Friday, November 13, 2009

he waiata - a song


He pūru taitama e
He pūru taitama hoki!
He pūru taitama
He pūru tukituki
He pūru taitama e.

Ka haere tāua e
Ki runga Otaki hoki.
Kei reira tāua
whaka-rite-rite ai
whaka-oti-oti ai e.

Translation: (I'm) a strong young man! A real young bull! A vigourous lad! A rampaging bull! A husky young man! You and I are going way beyond Otaki. And there we can arrange a conclusion.

Image:Kia Toa Rugby team, Horowhenua Champions 1909-10. Kingi Tahiwi standing at left. Otaki Museum


The cheeky Maori love song He Puru Taitama was written by a young
Kingi Tahiwi in 1909 while he was working for an Otaki law firm. The object of his affection was his future wife Jane Armstrong. In 1930 Kingi Tahiwi's brother and sisters, The Tahiwis, made a recording of He Puru Taitama which was distributed by Parlophone, and quickly taken up by other bands.

During WWII, He Puru Taitama proved popular with the troops, particularly a bawdy variant sung in Italy by members of the
Maori Battalion. Pakeha soldiers brought the song back from Italy with them and it's popularity increased. Later, the song was sung throughout the Pacific to entertain tourists, including in Hawaii. From Hawaii, as Epo i tai tai e, it spread to Girl Scouts across America, who were told the tune was a Native American one, meaning "I will be happy".

Very catchy and and lots of fun (expecially with actions) E po i tai tai e has now been published and recorded all over the world, including a version by the Wiggles! Below are the revised (and non-sensical) lyrics.

E po i tai tai
E po i taitai e
E po i taitai hoki
E po i taitai
E po i tukituki
E po i tukituki e

Below are links to different performances of Puru Taitama and E po. Ka pai!

Listen to the Tahiwis sing the original Puru Taitama
Puru Taitama in the movie What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
Spanish Music Video with Epo Lyrics
In a Notre-Dame-de-Bondeville chapel - beautiful
In a Belgian backyard
A Hawaiian Girl Scouts Video with Melinda Caroll

Brazillian boys do a remix
Swiss kids play Epo i tai tai on ukelele
The Wiggles sing the tooki tooki song
And look here for an African warrior version! It’s brilliant!

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