Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday's Music Moment: Aoteoroa

We were in Te Awamutu last week, to visit the town museum in which there is a permanent Split Enz exhibit called True Colours. A bit of a pilgrimage, really, and when we walked in this video, "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" was playing on the video screen. It's one of Split Enz's best known hits especially outside the Antipodes, and a catchy song...just ask my friend who played it for her sons while we were gone and now has two sub-11 year old Split Enz fans in her house.

It's certainly not a new song, but now that I've been to NZ I see it through new eyes. To wit: the boat motif is pretty obvious in a country where the furthest you can ever be from the ocean at any time is something like 180 km. Auckland (the Finns' home base) has the highest per capita boat ownership rate in the world. And I love seeing the Maori dancers and their moko (facial tattoos.) We saw a lot of Maori people in NZ with partial or full moko, and picked up the latest issue of MiNDFOOD magazine with a big photoarticle on the subject.

And, OH! Aoteora! THAT's what they're saying at the 2:30 mark, the Maori word for NZ that means "land of the long white clouds." It was the wife of the first Polynesian explorer to NZ, Kupe, who coined the term - thanks Wally theMaori bus driver in Paihia for the explanation.

Finally, and I'm just keeping it real here, there's the suggestion in this video of Neil's monobrow. According to some of the archival footage at the museum, that was fully present back in his Te Awamutu days. Then again, if anyone hauled out photos of any of us at 17 and put them in a museum, we'd be in for a world of embarrassment.

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