Moana and the Moahunters

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Moana and the Moahunters
Origin New Zealand
Years active 1991 (1991)–1998 (1998)
Past members Moana
Teremoana Rapley
Mina Ripia

Moana and the Moahunters (and successor group Moana and the Tribe), was a New Zealand Māori hip-hop and roots group. led by singer Moana that actively promoted Māori culture, traditions and history through their music.

Moana and the Moahunters[edit]

Moana's first release was a 1991 12" single, "AEIOU(Akona Te Reo)”, which translates as “Learn the Language”. The song was a plea for the Maori youth to work actively to preserve their culture, learn about their history and keep traditions alive by learning the language. The song combined rap, which had recently become popular in New Zealand, with traditional Maori songs, which not only showed the increasing localization of rap in New Zealand, but was used to attempt to appeal to the Maori youth to encourage them to study their own culture and not simple blend into the growing global culture. The song was nominated for several awards in 1991 and again in 1995, after it was remixed.[1] They released two full-length albums in the 1990s, after which they were invited to play international festivals such as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Womadelaide in Australia.

Their second album was titled Rua and also combined pop, hip-hop and Maori music. Not only did the songs on the album deal with themes important to the Maori people like spirituality and prophecy, but the album cover used traditional Maori symbols, replacing the graffiti often seen on covers of hip-hop albums with an image more pertinent to the Maori people. Other songs even discussed colonial issues, such as the Treaty of Waitangi, signed between the Maori people and the British government during the 1840s. These songs bring information about Maori history to the youth in the form of hip-hop.[2] The group scored a gold record in New Zealand and a hit single; Moana retired the group after performing at the 1998 Vancouver Folk Festival.

Moana and the Moahunters from New Zealand combined rap, soul, and reggae with traditional Maori chants, haka (Maori posture dance) and musical instruments (taonga puoro). This group has won a New Zealand industry award for best Maori rap song “Learn the Language.” This group had a unique style by innovating hip hop genre by adding their Maori language, which comes from Polynesia. Moana Maniapoto who has led the group, has been described as the diva of the Maori music. Moana and her group have impacted a large population because of their style and message to the public.[3][4]

Besides being known for their music, Moana and the Moahunters were also known for their performances. While their music was categorized as hip-hop, the group was also well known for their excellence in the traditional Maori haka. During concerts they show images related to their music and the Maori people. For example pictures of the New Zealand landscape or traditional Maori tattooing known as Ta Moko, are often displayed behind the group. When asked about the focus of the group, leader Moana states that many of their issues are universal, such as oppression, spirituality and the land, issues that are also closely tied to hip-hop culture in general. Despite the many aspects of hip-hop culture that are present in Moana and the Moahunter’s music, the group tries to focus on three ideals, respecting women, Maori pride and respecting all of humanity. In doing so, the group encourages positive Maroi ideals in youth and those who listen to the music.[5]

A very important aspect of Moana and the Moahunters is their strong ties to their Maori [1] culture and heritage. Although they rap mostly in English, because most Maori youth do not speak Maori, they are rapping about the necessity of studying their history and culture. When the group received a New Zealand Music Industry award in 1992, they accused the New Zealand radio of being racist against Maori groups. They insisted that Maori music is “underground” and that it was being refused air time by the radio DJs. This strong tie to their culture and this insistence about being heard is a very important part of the group’s dynamic as a whole also.[6]

Moana and the Tribe[edit]

Moana formed a new group named Moana and the Tribe which scored success worldwide with a 2003 album, Toru (three in Maori).[7] and later Wha (four in Maori).

Discography[edit]

Albums with Moana and the Moahunters[edit]

Year Title Details Peak chart
positions
NZ
1993 Tahi
  • Label: Southside Records
  • Catalogue: D30787
16
1998 Rua
  • Label: Tangata Records
27
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles with Moana and the Moahunters[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
NZ[8]
1987 "Kua Makona" 27 Non-album single
1991 "Black Pearl" 2 Tahi
"A.E.I.O.U." 31
1993 "Peace, Love & Family" 23
"Rebel In Me" 39
"I'll Be The One"
1994 "Tahi" 9
1995 "Give It Up Now" 24 Rua
1996 "Prophecies"
"Treaty"
1997 "Bird in a Tree"
1998 "Moko"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Albums with Moana and the Tribe[edit]

Year Title Details Peak chart
positions
NZ
2002 Toru
  • European release: 2002
  • New Zealand release: 2003
  • European label: Pirate / SONY Europe
  • New Zealand label: Tangata Records
2007 Live and Proud
  • Label: Rajon NZ
2008 Wha
  • Label: Black Pearl / Ode Records
2010 Acoustic
  • Label: Black Pearl/ Rajon NZ
2012 The Best of Moana & the Tribe
  • Label: Black Pearl / Ode Records
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maxwell, Ian. "Sydney Stylee: Hip-Hop Down Under Comin’ Up." In Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA, 259-279. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  2. ^ Anne-Marie de Bruin. "Moana and the Maori Culture". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  3. ^ Tangata Records - Moana
  4. ^ Mitchell, Tony. "Kia Kaha! (Be Strong!): Maori and Pacific Islander Hip-hop in Aotearoa-New Zealand." In Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA, ed. Tony Mitchell, 280-305. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  5. ^ Moana Manipoto. "Moana's Universal Music". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Tony. "Kia Kaha! (Be Strong!): Maori and Pacific Islander Hip-hop in Aotearoa-New Zealand." In Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop Outside the USA, ed. Tony Mitchell, 280-305. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
  7. ^ Moana and the Moahunters. Amplifier New Zealand. Accessed August 18, 2007.
  8. ^ "Moana and the Moahunters". Charts.org.nz. Retrieved 7 March 2013.