Taonga Puoro

Taonga puoro literally means “musical treasure” or “treasure of music” – “treasure” in a spiritual rather than a material sense, as something that is precious and needs careful tending and looking after.

I was privileged to gain, at very short notice, the collaboration of Alistair Fraser for a number of tracks on my Travels in Middle-earth CD.

Of Katimana and Kati Pakeha, Alistair was born in Dunedin, now lives in Wellington, and specializes in building, performing and teaching taongo puoro. In 2006, he won 2nd place at the Te Puia National Concerto Taonga Puoro Competition. He also plays guitar, and works with his trio Coaster, as well as playing taongo puoro with ensemble Tahu, and the Jess Chambers Project.

Please visit Alistair Fraser's Myspace page for more information!

Some Maori seem to feel that taking photographs of taonga is not appropriate (though others don't seem to have a problem with it) – in any case, it has proved more difficult than I expected to find some images and information to build a dedicated page on this website.

More information about the instruments and the Maori philosophy of music, as well as images and some audio samples, can be found on the following websites:

More information can also be found in the excellent book Singing Treasures by Brian Flintoff, with beautiful photographs by Craig Potton, which can be obtained from the SOUNZ website.