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11th Annual Te Manahua Maori Cultural Competittion Concludes At The Polynesian Cultural Center

Harmonious melodies and soulful chants filled the air as competitors from across the globe performed in the 11th Annual Te Manahua Maori Cultural Competition held at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC). This moving whakataetae (competition) included a Haka Hard and Poi E competition on the 14th, which concluded with the Maori Performing Arts Competition the following day. Performers captivated the audience from start to finish with their powerful haka, mesmerizing poi and intricately detailed costumes.

Dominating this year’s competition in both the Poi E and Haka Hard competition was Te Kura O Tongariro of New Zealand. Te Kohao Hawaiiki, the crowd-favorite from Laie, Hawaii took the overall title for the Maori Performing Arts Competition. This year’s exciting competition also featured Nga Uri O Te Wai-O-Taiki of Glen Innes, Auckland, New Zealand, Te Hokioi of Laie, Hawaii, Ngati Ranana of London, England and the crowd-favorite, Te Kohao Hawaiiki of Laie, Hawaii.

Poi E competitors were judged on their kakahu (attire), stage presence, execution, singing and harmony, as well as their understanding and portrayal of the lyrics they performed. Haka Hard competitors were judged on their kakahu, stage presence, emotion and mana evoked through their performance, and the preciseness and execution of their actions.

Groups were evaluated in the non-aggregate categories of kahahu (attire), manukura wahine (female leaders) and manukura tane (male leaders). Each group was also judged in aggregate on whakaeke (entrance), moteatea (traditional chanting), waiata-a-ringa (action songs), waiata hou (original song compositions), poi (graceful dance implement with the twirling ball on end of string), haka (male posture dance) and their whakawatea (exit).

“The mana could be felt from every competitor throughout the whakataetae,” said Seamus Fitzgerald, organizer of the event and manager of the Maori village at the PCC. “It’s truly amazing to have groups from all over the world gather at the PCC to showcase this amazing culture. In all of their performances, competitors exuded immense pride and represented the vibrant wairua (spirit) of the Maori culture, which is really what the PCC is all about, giving everyone a deeper understanding and appreciation of all of the cultures that make up Polynesia.”
This event was sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the City and County of Honolulu. Listed below are the complete results from the 11th Annual Te Manahua Maori Cultural Competition.

RESULTS: Haka Hard 1. Te Kura O Tongariro – Turangi, New Zealand   2.  Hoiho Porangi – Laie, Hawaii and New Zealand   3.  Ngati Rongomai – Maori Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie, Hawaii Poi-E 1.  Te Kura O Tongariro – Turangi, New Zealand   2.  Ngati Rongomai – Maori Village at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Laie, Hawaii   3.  Halau O Mamo – Kauai Maori Performing Arts Competition  1.  Te Kohau Hawaiiki – Laie, Hawaii   2.  Ngati Ranana – London, England  3. Ke Ura o Tongariro – Turangi, New Zealand

Founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, the PCC has entertained more the 34 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts, and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world. In addition, the PCC has provided financial assistance to 17,000 young people from over 70 different countries while they attend Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i. As a non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support education.