Skip to main content. Listen to taonga puoro. Te Papa ME It is also used to summon people for formal learning or as a call to arms. The triton shell is rarely found in Aotearoa, only occasionally washing up on beaches in the Far North. Bequest of Kenneth Athol Webster, Te Papa WE The bell-shaped end is called the whara. Karanga weka small instrument, similar to a nguru , , by Clem Mellish.
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Title: The Coming of the Maori. Conditions of use. Musical instruments may be broadly grouped under four headings: membranophones drums with vibrating cover , autophones direct percussion as wooden gongs , aerophones wind instruments , and cordophones string instruments. All four classes were present in Polynesia but they were few in number and varied in distribution. The only membranophone was the shark-skin drum, the principal autophone was the slot gong, the aerophones were represented by shell trumpets and the bamboo nose flute, and the cordophone was a primitive form of bow with one string though in Hawaii, some had three strings. In New Zealand, the shark-skin drum was curiously absent. The autophones were represented by a wooden war gong and some minor instruments. In wind instruments, however, the Maori developed a variety of forms not present in Polynesia. The presence of a stringed instrument with one string rests on the report of one man. Some of the minor instruments were more in the nature of noise-producing toys than musical instruments.
Many of the sounds of the instruments and tunes are imitations of the sounds of nature, including the wind, the seas and the natural world of birds and insects. The instruments are all part of the families of the gods, and their classifications are directly related to the gods and the creation story where "The Gods sang the Universe into Existence". Further classifications are derived from their children. The god of the winds is Tawhiri , and from him come the wind instruments. The shell instruments are from Tangaroa , god of the sea, and Tane and his daughters Hine Pu te Hue and Hine Raukatauri govern the other instruments derived from forest and earth materials.