Can Anyone Help with a Maori Song that Sounds Like, “Nane paku ana”?

Sharon wrote:

Hi Lisa,

This is really a shot in the dark, but I’m wondering if you know of a song, which I believe is Maori. A friend of mine taught it to me, but she doesn’t know the translation or anything else about it. I’m wondering if you’ve heard of it, and if so, if you could tell me anything about it – what it means, who sings it, etc, and perhaps the proper words. My best attempt at writing it out is as follows:

Nane paku ana
Nane paku ana
eh eh eh ua
ua ua
ipea ipea ipea
Kuana Kuana Kuana Kuana Kua…Choo!
Kuana Kuana Kuana Kuana Kua…Choo!

It is a rhythmic song with clapping on the off beats.

Does this seem at all familiar?

Thank you so much!


If anyone can help Sharon with the original Maori words to this song and/or an English translation, please let us know in the comments below. If you have the original text, please email me a copy at – so I can make sure the accents show up properly.


Mama Lisa

This article was posted on Saturday, October 10th, 2009 at 3:16 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Folk Songs, Languages, Mama Lisa, Maori, New Zealand, New Zealand Children's Songs, Questions, Readers Questions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

5 Responses to “Can Anyone Help with a Maori Song that Sounds Like, “Nane paku ana”?”

  1. Nancy Says:

    This is the email of a Teacher that may be able to help you find what you are looking for.
    She corrected translations for me on some Maori songs that I had been given incorrect lyrics to.
    Very knowledgeable, kind and wonderful person…has a website as well

    ;0) Nancy

  2. Angela Says:

    Just come across this post while looking for a particular Maori song, and thought this might help others who do the same:

    Nä Pania Papa
    Nanea ana a tia
    I tā te niho wera
    Mokori anō kia rere a mihi
    I tā te wahawaha
    Whiunga o haupā
    Pura ana te kanohi o Tahuaroa
    Tēnei a ruranga horokukū ana te hoki
    Ki te kāinga
    He kaha nō te raupī mai
    (HĪ AUĒ HĪ!)
    Whakauwhi mai
    AUĒ HĪ!

  3. Aimee Tapping Says:

    The words for this and the “choo” sound are Samoan or Tongan, they have many clapping games like this to help them warm up for their performance style.

  4. Alyson Ewald Says:

    I learned this song in 1998 from an Australian woman named Kata. She believed it was a children’s counting rhyme in New Zealand from a “lost” language (not Maori) or in nonsense words. Aimee Tapping, can you tell me the meanings for the words if they are Samoan or Tongan? Thanks! I have been teaching this song to others for years and it would be great to know their meaning.

    The way Kata taught it to us went something like this. There are stomps on the downbeats and claps on the upbeats, except for double claps in some spots.
    Ina-ne pakuana
    Ina-ne pakuana
    Hey hey uwa…
    Uwa uwa…
    Uwa-yay yipi-yay yipi-yay… (double clap)
    Kuwana kuwana kuwana kuwana kuwa…Chu! (double clap)
    Kuwana kuwana kuwana kuwana kuwa…Chu! (double clap)

  5. Liz Rose Says:

    This sounds exactly the same to an Indigenous Australian Song called Inanay (which is on this website). It is disputed about the meaning of the song and where it came from but it seems like it originated maybe in the Torres Strait and then travelled down south. It might be in the Yorta Yorta language of north-eastern victoria. The lyrics are as follows:

    Inanay capuana
    Inanay capuana

    ay ay ay oola
    oola oola
    oola ay
    yippee yay yippee yay

    goo wana goo wana
    goo wana goo wana
    go wah … Choo!

    goo wana goo wana
    goo wana goo wana
    go wah … Choo!

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