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pūkana Play

1. (verb) to stare wildly, dilate the eyes - done by both genders when performing haka and waiata to emphasise particular words and to add excitement to the performance.

Ka mea atu te mōkai rā, ‘He hahaka nōu, he ruhi nōu i te pūkanatanga.' (TAH 9/1963:24). / The slave said, ‘You have tired yourself doing the haka and the pūkana.'

2. (modifier) performing the pūkana.

I ngā mahi waiata pātere me ngā mahi pūkana, kāore he mea hei rite ki taua wahine (NIT 1995:315). / For singing pātere and performing the pūkana, there was nobody who could equal that woman.

3. (noun) dilating of the eyes.

Mate noa ake rātou ki te pai o te pūkana o te tamāhine nei (TWK 2:24). / They were quite smitten by the beauty of this girl's pūkana.

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Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary and Index by John C Moorfield. This dictionary comprises a selection of modern and everyday language that will be extremely useful for learners of the Māori language.

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