Waiata: Mahia Tītī tōrea

Create Te Rākau to showcase your rhythmic skills.

Tī rākau is a Māori stick game which can be as simple or complex as you like. It has multiple variations and names, it’s also known as tītī tōrea, tītī touretua, tītī tourea and poi rākau. Players form two rows, facing each other either sitting or standing, then throw and catch rākau sticks in time to a chant. The most well known chant might be E Pāpā Waiari

Show off your awesome musical and rhythm skills with ti rākau.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Skill Level: Easy

You Will Need:

  • 2 x Nūpepa (newspaper or magazines)
  • 2 x Rakau (sticks) if you don’t have any nūpepa
    If collecting rakau, respect your environment, only collect what has fallen from trees 
  • Rīpine (tape)
  • Craft paper or white paper (optional)
  • Colouring Pencils (optional)

Follow our lead to make your own Te Rākau.

Tahi | One

Roll up nūpepa as tight as you can.

Rua | Two

Holding them tightly, rīpine around the edges and middle to hold rolls in place.

Toru | Three

Rīpine either craft paper or white paper around each roll.

If you feel creative, use colouring pencils to decorate your Te Rākau.

Make sure you take photos of your Tī rākau and share them with us!

You’re now ready to play Tī rākau

  • Create your very own Ti rākau either by yourself or with someone in your bubble. Practice the waiata E Pāpā Waiari on an electronic device (optional).

Plan and create your own stick dance, either by yourself or with someone in your bubble. This video has ideas for movements you can try.  

Tī rākau:

Tī rākau started as a Ngāti Porou game for training warriors. One warrior stood in the middle surrounded by other warriors. Using rākau made from mako wood and sharpened, they would throw it to the middle warrior to test their skills.

Catching rākau develops spear skills and develops hand-eye coordination at speed. Many variations of tī rākau are played by both men and women.

Variations of the game use seated players throwing rākau to each other. In a more competitive elimination game, players stand in large groups, where players throw sticks back and forth. Any participant who drops a stick is ‘out’. The game continues until only one player is left, a bit like musical chairs.