Monday, October 16, 2017


This year marked the 7th annual Sacred Springs Powwow in San Marcos. Held at the Meadows Center on the shores of Spring Lake (land that, many years ago, was known as the amusement park Aquarena Springs), the powwow has grown dramatically over the past decade, and is now a two-day event drawing indigenous people from across North America.

When I learned this was happening over the weekend, I decided to take my family. Until recently I'd believed we had distant Cherokee ancestors, but a DNA test proved that to be false. However, The Wife learned that she did have Papua New Guinea ancestry, which was pretty amazing in its own right. I wanted to watch some of the dances, and just expose the kids to the various cultures overall. Little did I know that a Maori cultural group from Vancouver, Canada, TE TINI A MĀUI had been invited there to perform. I'd never see Maori dance before, although I'd heard of haka. It turned out to be quite an impressive display.

Many of the Maoris had body tattoos, as is tradition, but their facial tattoos were actually makeup. I guess some concessions had to be made to Western culture. Now, here's the cool thing: I got video of much of their performance. Certain caveats apply. Mainly, I'm not a videographer and did not plan on shooting any video, so I didn't have a tripod or monopod with which to stabilize my camera. This means the images suffer from "shaky cam" on occasion. If you can get past that, the performances are pretty impressive. I wasn't expecting the songs, and the sound quality on the video is surprisingly good despite only using the built-in mic. Here's their intro song:

Next, we have their speaker greeting the powwow attendees both in his native tongue and then Kiwi-accented English. Very cool.

I'm afraid I was so taken up with the performances that I forgot what these next few were about. My apologies.

Here is their haka. I'd heard about haka, but never seen it before. I can see how would be effective at instilling intimidation in one's enemies. Particularly with the black tattoos/makeup around the eyes, their expressions create an air of dangerous, crazed aggression. I love it.

If I recall correctly, this is a song of friendship. They closed with it, and alas, I only recorded about half before my memory card filled.

I looked on their website, and it doesn't appear that they sell any CDs or DVDs of their performances. Which is a shame, because their live performance is so impressive I'm certain they'd sell quite a few. If you ever get a chance to see TE TINI A MĀUI in person, I highly recommend it.

Now Playing: Bix Beiderbecke Vol. 1: Singin' the Blues
Chicken Ranch Central

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