- Publish Date
- Friday, 8 July 2016, 9:40AM
A Rotorua family realised it was on to something when a poi dance set to Beyonce's music went viral.
The extended Winitana whanau has been schooling two generations of its children in te reo Māori for 30 years and established a school in Māori performing arts for girls, Tareikura, in Rotorua last year. It was inspired by Atamira Winitana, now 90, the great-grandmother of most of the girls.
"Atamira has a special poi. She was raised by her people in the Central Plateau and was taught how to use the poi," says Tupoutahi Winitana, 27, her grandson.
"When the girls at Tareikura used our grandmother's poi to one of Beyonce's songs on the Tareikura Facebook page, it went viral. It went into the millions.
"We saw how Facebook worked and how everybody was interacting, and most of the people actually were in London and Australia.
A lot of them were interested in learning how to speak Māori."
Check it out above!