Wednesday, September 17, 2014

He aha te waiata Maori Ako ahau

Or "What the Maori Chant Taught me", if we trust Google translate, which obviously sometimes I do...

Yesterday I was looking for the source of the quote Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you and all I found was that it was a Maori proverb. Moving on to other things, I forgot all about it until today I had the strong urge to search for some Maori traditional chanting videos. 
I have to admit, I have a deep fascination, passion, love, whatever you want to name it, for sounds and languages. I try to listen at least once a week to a foreign (to me) language interview. There is so much beauty in that "chaos". I am always thinking about what if there is a universal language, or what if one day I will suddenly start understanding Armenian or Russian or Japanese or or...(I do have a pentecostal spirit no!?). I think the mind has the ability to process what he is receiving and even if it does not make any sense, it sure does make an impact of some sort... that is a conviction I have. I might not be able to prove it but you can try it and let me know.
So today I looked up one traditional Maori song and ow... These chants deeply moved me.
I will try to describe it a little bit without slaughtering it. 
There is one lead person who shouts some lines and rhythmically people repeat after him or answer him (I assume). There is as well beautiful clapping and percussions of some sort going on very very precisely. You can feel the discipline of such a tribe. You can feel their unity. You can sense it in your heart, every beat, every word, every sound being taken so seriously... and this marked me...
One little side note: I had the other day a wonderful talk with a beautiful amazing lady about community.
Hearing the Maori people sing could not but remind me of the blessing of community. It made me realise in a way I cannot explain in words that God did indeed create people to live in communities (and hearing me saying this, is one huge miracle!). There is so much harmony in their chanting that you cannot help think that the world was created to be like this, a group of people functioning together to bring beauty, to bring Beauty (copying Augustine, Oh Beauty ancient oh Beauty so new!)
Pardon me if I ramble a little bit still... There is something else striking in this community of chanters... They follow perfectly their leader... There is perfect obedience to rhythm of the group... No one goes starting a new song alone or shouts above the others. Now, I am not a partisan of silly flock following but there is something striking in humble obedience... I am sure these people where free and confident and at some point they may have requested this or that song, but while the song was going on, they all followed, they all united. 
I am sure I will be thinking about these beautiful Maori people for quite some time still... but for now, I will thank God for my little (beyond) lovely community and I will obey my elders... and perhaps to the world around us, we can bring a song from above, a beautiful witness to the ever old, ever new Beauty!

ps. I wish there was a gold font colour...


  1. I guess I'm somehow a source of inspiration . Hahahaha !!!
    Amazing as usual

  2. There is something about those tribes, the chants, the community that makes my heart smile, that gives me a sense of belonging and a foretaste of heaven. Thanks for sharing!

  3. +JMJ+

    It seems that we both had singing and St. Peter Chrysologus in mind at the same time! ;-) My thoughts are rooted in larger reflections about the nature of the Mystical Body, and the deep mystery that even if only one member is singing (or praying, or acting in charity, or keeping the faith, or doing anything good), all the other members can ride on it. The strong prop up the weak simply by existing. But this doesn't mean that we should kick back and let others be strong for us: the glory of being part of the Mystical Body is getting to act in the Mystical Body, with full consciousness and freedom. I love knowing that when I sing or chant or pray, it is never just for myself, but for everyone else who are One Body and One Spirit in Christ.

    1. It is very true, many times in prayer I imagine the saints, the angel, the martyrs, all worshipping at the same time before the throne. But what I find is particularly true as well is that when one is aware how his strength uphold the Body, one realizes how his weakness sometimes can harm it and we fall on our knees asking for mercy and grace =)

    2. +JMJ+

      It's really sin which hurts the Body. I'm so grateful for the sacrament of Reconciliation, which provides healing. =)

      By the way, there is a gold font colour! Just replace the HTML colour code with one of these:

    3. Yes absolutely!
      And wow! that is one cool thing! thanks!! Next post is going to be golden ^^