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The Coming of the Maori



A stringed instrument termed ku rests on the single statement of Canon Stack (2, p. 213) who said it was shaped like a bow about ten inches long out of hard matai. The single string was made of flax fibre and sound was produced by tapping it with a rod. The Hawaiians had a single stringed instrument termed an ukeke. The name probably had an initial glottal stop which converted to Maori would be kutete. Though the presence of the stringed instrument in New Zealand is doubtful, it may be more than a coincidence that ku was also the initial syllable in the established Hawaiian instrument. If the ku was really made in New Zealand, it was probably more in the nature of a child's toy than an adult stringed instrument.