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The music of Polynesia is a diverse set of musical traditions from islands within a large area of the central and southern Pacific Ocean, approximately a triangle with New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island forming its corners.Traditional Polynesian music is largely an inseparable part of a broader performance art form, incorporating dance and recital of oral traditions; most literature considers Polynesian music and dance together. Polynesian music expanded with colonial European contact and incorporated instruments and styles introduced through a process of acculturation that continues to the present day. Although the European tradition of hymn-singing brought by Christian missionaries was probably the most important influence, others are evident; Hawaii's influential kī hōʻalu (“slack key”) music incorporated the Spanish guitar introduced in the late 19th century, and later introduced the steel guitar to country music. Hip hop and R&B influences have created a contemporary Urban Pasifika music genre with a strong Polynesian identity and supported by the annual Pacific Music Awards in New Zealand.
In the 1790s, Christian missionaries arrived in Polynesia for the first time. Hymns and other forms of Christian music were instituted, and native musical genres were driven underground and prohibited. Soon, traditional polyphonic singing was merged with Christian styles and church singing, and along with brass bands became an important part of Polynesian music culture across the Pacific.
Some Polynesian islands have developed a cassette industry, most notably Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. In the 1980s, Fijian stars like Laisa Vulakoro and Lagani Rabukawaqa became popular across the Pacific.
Popular Hawaiian inspired musicians include steel guitarists Bill Sevesi and Bill Wolfgramm who led popular dance bands during the 1950s.
Oceania is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of over 41 million. When compared to continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.
The Polynesian languages form a language family spoken in geographical Polynesia and on a patchwork of outliers from south central Micronesia to small islands off the northeast of the larger islands of the southeast Solomon Islands and sprinkled through Vanuatu. Linguistic taxonomists classify them as a subgroup of the much larger and more varied Austronesian family, belonging to the Oceanic branch of that family. Polynesians share many unique cultural traits that resulted from only about 1000 years of common development, including common linguistic development, in the Tonga and Samoa area through most of the first millennium BC.
Pacific Islanders, Pasifika, or Pasefika, are the peoples of the Pacific Islands. It is a geographic and ethnic/racial term to describe the inhabitants and diaspora of any of the three major sub-regions of Oceania. It is also sometimes used to describe inhabitants of the Pacific islands.
In Polynesian mythology, Hawaiki is the original home of the Polynesians, before dispersal across Polynesia. It also features as the underworld in many Māori stories.
Music of Tonga refers to music derived from the island Tonga in the islands of Polynesia. Music of Tonga today generally falls under the category of traditional music that has withstood the test of time, or into one of the two opposing genres of religious and secular music. Tongan music can be either very emotional and somewhat modern with instrumental makeup including modern brass instruments, or conversely can be very primitive and consist of only drums and voices. In this way, Tongan music is very diverse despite the fact that it is contained to a fairly small island, which means that the different cultures and styles co-exist on the small land mass together without blending.
Polynesians form an ethnolinguistic group of closely related people who are native to Polynesia, an expansive region of Oceania in the Pacific Ocean. They trace their early prehistoric origins to Island Southeast Asia and form part of the larger Austronesian ethnolinguistic group with an Urheimat in Taiwan. They speak the Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic subfamily of the Austronesian language family.
The Polynesian Triangle is a region of the Pacific Ocean with three island groups at its corners: Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand. It is often used as a simple way to define Polynesia.
Music in Somoa is a complex mix of cultures and traditions, with pre- and post-European contact histories. Since American colonization, popular traditions such as rap and hip hop have been integrated into Somoan music.
The traditional music of Tuvalu consists of dances, including fatele, fakanau and fakaseasea. The influence of the Samoan missionaries sent to Tuvalu by the London Missionary Society from the 1860s resulted in the suppression of songs about the traditional religions or magic and many songs were lost. As the influence of the missionaries diminished in the 20th century the traditional dances were revived and the siva dance tradition from Samoa also became popular. The fatele, in its modern form, is performed at community events and to celebrate leaders and other prominent individuals.
Polynesian culture is the culture of the indigenous peoples of Polynesia who share common traits in language, customs and society. Sequentially, the development of Polynesian culture can be divided into four different historical eras:
Himene tarava is a style of traditional Tahitian music.
The Polynesian Society is a non-profit organisation based at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, dedicated to the scholarly study of the history, ethnography, and mythology of Oceania.
Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd,, was one of the leading publishers in New Zealand. by Alfred Hamish Reed in association with his nephew Alexander Wyclif Reed It was a New Zealand literature specialist and general titles publisher, releasing over 100 titles a year including a number of significant New Zealand authors such as Barry Crump, Janet Frame and Witi Ihimaera. In 2006 the firm won the Thorpe Bowker Award for Outstanding Achievement in New Zealand Book Publishing.
Traditional Polynesian navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of kilometres of the open Pacific Ocean. Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song. Generally, each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status; in times of famine or difficulty, they could trade for aid or evacuate people to neighbouring islands. As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako in the Solomons.
Roger Curtis Green was an American-born, New Zealand-based archaeologist, Professor Emeritus at The University of Auckland, and member of the National Academy of Sciences and Royal Society of New Zealand. He was awarded the Hector and Marsden Medals and was an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contributions to the study of Pacific culture history.
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians, sharing many similar traits including language family, culture, and beliefs. Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.
Bill Wolfgramm aka Bill Wolfgramme was a musician specialising in lap steel guitar and popular Hawaiian music. He was born in the island kingdom of Tonga and was also of German descent. He is the former leader of Bill Wolfgramm & His Islanders, a popular island band in New Zealand that played regularly at the Orange Ballroom, a historic dance venue in Auckland.
Viking Records was an independent and prominent record label that featured many New Zealand and Polynesian recording artists.
The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG) is an international governmental cooperation group bringing together eight independent or self-governing countries or territories in Polynesia.
Relations between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the natives of the Pacific Island groups of Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia and surrounding island groups are quite complex.
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