We are fascinated by history; many books, programmes, films, documentaries,performances try to help us reconstruct life as it was.


In search of the past…

It is a very demanding act of the imagination to get even a glimpse of what it might have been like to fight for your life, armed only with a spear, no matter how much information we have about the climate and the war paint..


Maori King

Unless you listen to someone who lived there, in that other country of the past…..

This magnificent Maori War Chant, translated by Allen Curnow and Roger Oppenheim, is still passionately alive. Listen.

Let fog fill the skies,
Let the cloud cover them,
the wind howls high up
to the world away down,
listen! the wind howls
from far away down!

Shuddering the spear
is charging, is flying,
the twin-bladed shark,
and the footsteps hurtling.
O furious the footsteps,
blood-wet the footsteps
bound for the world’s brink.

He goes, god of battles,
the stars in his stride
and the moon in his stride –
run, run from the death-blow!

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