I discovered this raucous Maori-pride world/hip-hop group some years back in a tiny music shop in Vancouver BC. Browsing, as I am wont to do, the more obscure sections of the store, I ran across this CD and from the band name and the title ("rua" is Maori for "two") I quickly snapped it up. When I was in New Zealand many sheeplives ago, I saw many beautiful landscapes and met wonderful people, but didn't tap into their Maori/world music scene. Here was a chance to remedy that.
And what a find! Moana Maniapoto is a committed ambassador for Maori language and culture, in film as well as music. And she seems to be a mentor for a number of younger Maori musicians, including members of Wai (Speaking of whom, Wai's website is defunct. Does anyone know if the band is still together?).
[mp3] Moana and the Moahunters:
from the album Rua
I wear my pride upon my skin
My pride has always been within
I wear my strength upon my face
Comes from another time and place
Bet you didn’t know that every line has a message for me
Moana's CDs are hard to come by outside of Aotearoa, but Moana's website has links to various sources (you can try Tangata Records, for Rua). This really is great, positive music that deserves a wider audience, and I urge you to seek it out! I just learned that Moana has a new album out called WHA, which I hope to have in my hands/ears soon!
"Peace, Love & Family" video