Listen to the Maori-Language Version of The Great Villain Song from Moana

Image: Disney

Jemaine Clement turned in a winning performance as Tamatoa, calling in a Tim Curry vibe to perform the dangerous collector deity who held onto Maui’s hook. Now, hear Clement perform the song in the language of the Māori people on which the narrative is based.

As we previous reported, Moana was recently translated into Māori, a language spoken by indigenous peoples in New Zealand (of whom Moana the character shares a common heritage), a language that has become more and more scarce in the wake of transformations wrought in the country due to Western colonialism and global culture. The new translation, produced by Taika Waititi’s sister, Tweedie Waititi, dialogues with local culture and has been a means of driving interest into Māori heritage in New Zealand.


Now, thanks to the DisneyMusicVEVO YouTube channel, we can hear Jemaine Clement, who is of Māori descent himself, reprise his role as Tamatoa singing “Shiny (Piata Mai Nei)” in Māori. It’s a real treat. And the video has some of the most pleasant, inspiring YouTube comments I’ve ever seen.

See, isn’t that just lovely? Watch the video below. I’m including the English language version, too, so those of us who don’t speak Māori can refresh our memories.

And in English:



Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Julie Muncy

io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.