Pokarekare Ana

This song Pokarekare Ana is a story from the Maori people passed on from generation to generation. It entails a love story, pure will and heart of a Maori woman.


To really feel the song, we have to know the story. It is in Maori, so a bit of background will really set the mood and help you understand without knowing the lyrics.


Long time ago, before the British colonized New Zealand. Polynesians arrived and made a settlement in this beautiful country. The story is set during this time.


The Polynesians have flourished and soon developed their own culture which now we call the Maori. There are many tribes in the land.

pokarekare ana

The most beautiful girl in the land named Hinemoa, a daughter of a great chief, is sought after by every man. Everyone desired her to be his wife, including a young man called Tutanekai. 


Every tribal meeting, which happens rarely, because of the tribes differing location. Tutanekai is situated in the middle of the lake, while she lives on the shore of Lake Rotorua.


Scared to declare his love for her because of his lower status compared to hers and being afraid of rejection. Tutanekai is content just staring at Hinemoa from afar. In fact, Hinemoa feels the same towards Tutanekai and is also afraid of the consequences if she does declare her love for him.


After many meetings, Tutanekai finally gathered up the courage to fess his feeling to Hinemoa in the form of messages. He sent his messenger to tell her servants how he felt. When you think about it, it’s like sending text messages. The servants are the communication devices.


She was joyfully ecstatic when she heard of his intentions. The fact that he holds the same feelings as her made her cry. Tutanekai had asked her to join him in his home and she happily agreed.


They made a plan for her to take the canoe when she hears the sound of his flute.


Night after night Tutanekai would play his flute on top of a tall hill and the wind carries his music. Hinemoa have heard of their intentions and they do not approve. The village intentionally carried the canoes high up on the shore so Hinemoa have no means to get to Tutanekai’s village in the middle of the lake.


Every night Hinemoa would hear the sounds of her lover’s flute. Every night she would cry, knowing that she cannot go to him. One night, she thought to herself, what if I just swim for it? The freezing lake, far distance and the dark night discouraged her. Hearing the sound of Tutanekai’s flute again have given her enough courage to take a chance.


The longing, loneliness and sadness. Her love for Tutanekai made her do something hard to fathom. Hinemoa braved the freezing lake in the night. She attached hollow gourds to help her float and more buoyant.


It was a struggle but she kept on. Guided by the sound of the flute she miraculously reached Tutanekai’s island. They met and became man and wife. 


Their descendants are still living in Rotorua to this day. This song inspires and shows how love is all you need and it’s very powerful.

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