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Hineteiwaiwa is a wahine atua - a Maori goddess - the exemplary wife and mother who provided the pattern that all women follow. She assists at the entrances into and the exits from the world, with rituals concerned with tattooing of the lips prior to marriage, with the raising of tapu, and she is credited by some iwi with the introduction of weaving into the culture. Generally, she supports the role of women in traditional society. Hineteiwaiwa was written at the time that Tungia Baker, herself an exemplary wahine toa, or woman of strength, was dying, and is dedicated to her memory. In the improvisatory sections, which are guided and shaped by the taonga puoro player, there are few indications in the score. Generally, the improvisations involve the percussionist. Maori texts, devised and sung by the Kaikaranga, may be integrated into these sections. Also embedded in the improvisatory sections of the piece is a separate vocal composition by Aroha Yates-Smith, woven around the attributes and quality of Hineteiwaiwa.
Commissioned by the Canadian ERGO Ensemble with financial assistance from Creative New Zealand.
07 Nov 2006: Performed by ERGO Ensemble, Richard Nunns (taonga Puoro); CBC Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Canada
17 May 2009: Stroma Dreams