That is the Beauty of the Language by Modern Maori Quartet

26 July 2017

Kia ora is the Māori word for Hello but literally translated as ‘To Life’. It goes beyond the simple gesture of greeting somebody and embodies their very existence. Another way of saying Hello or Kia ora is ‘Tenā koe’ – ‘There you are’.




For those who are unfamiliar with the Māori language and culture – it is the native tongue of the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand. It is also one of 3 official languages alongside English and Sign language here in New Zealand.

Aroha is the Māori word for love. Again – literally translated means ‘Focused Breath’. The idea behind that is – when you are sending somebody your love, in a metaphorical sense, it is your breath of life meeting the other person at a focused point in time. That is the beauty of the language and how it relates and connects to the natural world around us.

Singing is also a huge part of Māori culture – so much so that it is near impossible to find a Māori who can’t sing or play the guitar. Before the missionaries arrived in New Zealand – Māori language and history was all oral. Stories of great victory and loss, genealogy, love and navigation through the seas were all captured through songs passed down from generation to generation – and they are still all sung today.

To sing, is to live and to live is to share and that’s what the Modern Māori Quartet is all about.

So Kia ora to you for reading this and we hope to share our Aroha with you real soon.

Tenā koe,


The Modern Maori Quartet join Assembly Festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 3-28 August 2017 at 14:25 @ Assembly George Square Studio 3. See more of the Modern Maori Quartet here!