He Nawe Kei Roto

Album: Maori Songs (1930)


  • Although Bic Runga is unquestionably the world's most famous Maori songwriter, she was by no means the first. The bilingual and multi-disciplined Tuini Moetu Haangu Ngawai (1910-1965) appears to have co-written her first song at the age of fourteen, with her mother. She began her songwriting career in earnest in 1931. "He Nawe Kei Roto" is said by the Dictionary Of New Zealand Biography to be her first surviving song, and may have been written as early as 1930 but certainly no later than 1933; unlike many of her songs it has an original melody.

    It is also the song that established her in this field after it was performed at a special ceremony in January 1934. It is a conversation piece between two lovers. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


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