Te Ao Nui O Ngā Hue – The Wide World of the Gourd


“Te Ao Nui O Ngā Hue – The Wide World of the Gourd” is a short experimental film completed in 2016. It explores how taonga pūoro practitioners (traditional Māori instruments form New Zealand) come into dialogue with the voices of the atua, or the multiple deities. This project was made in collaboration with Alistair Fraser and Russell G. Shaw, as part of a wider research project on musical composition and perception with taonga pūoro in Aotearoa/New Zealand (2016). This film accentuates how taonga pūoro practitioners utilise their senses to imagine, empathise and furthermore resonant with something in the environment, before turning these experiences into music. An earlier version of this film was screened at the Berlin Experimental Film Festival in December (2016), Wairoa Māori Film Festival (2017), and SEF Festival (2017).


Sebastian J. Lowe is a visual anthropologist/musician from New Zealand. He wrote his Msc thesis in visual anthropology about taonga pūoro (Māori musical instruments), using film as a key method of anthropological and ethnomusicological enquiry. He is co-founder of Word of Mouth: World Anthropology Collective and Queltehue Film Collective: www.queltehue.com.

Project Details

Year: 2016
Duration: 08 mins
Cast: Russell G. Shaw
Filmmaker: Sebastian J. Lowe
Camera: Sebastian J. Lowe
Sound: Sebastian J. Lowe, Black Noise Audio
Music: Alistair Fraser
Thesis supervisor: Peter I. Crawford