This thesis is about kapa haka (traditional Maori performing arts) as it is performed in a cultural group in Auckland, New Zealand. These performing arts can be glossed in English as dances, songs, chants, oratory, incantations, and weaponry displays of a distinct style that has become emblematic of Maori, and of New Zealand, in particular.Kapa haka is many things at once; as an art form it is considered equal to other expressions of toi M¨¡ori (traditional arts) like raranga (weaving), whakairo (carving) and t¨¡ moko (tattooing); as a ¡®tradition¡¯ it is regarded as a taonga tuku iho, an heirloom that is handed down through the generations; as part of tikanga (custom) it has a function in both ritual and entertainment; as part of Maori society it has undergone changes over time in tune with changes in the society; as a part of New Zealand society it has undergone a revival in the 20th century; as a teaching method and part of the repertoire of m¨¡tauranga (knowledge) it is being taught to successive generations of Maori and non-Maori; as a performance art it is still as vibrant and innovative today as it has ever been; and as a visual display of identity it still captivates the attention of others. Common to all these things that kapa haka can be to many people at once it the central concept of a class of objects that in M¨¡ori are called taonga, artefacts both ephemeral and corporeal that collapse space and time to instantiate social relationships between people and people vis-¨¤-vis things, and between people and things. Through the investigation of kapa haka as a taonga this thesis seeks to de-construct this arts practice to elucidate these social relationships between people and people and people and things and seek the answers to the following questions:How can this practice claim authenticity? What is kapa haka today? To what extent is it being practiced by Maori today and how does this relate to how it was practiced prior to today? In what contemporary settings does this practice manifest in the practice of a kapa haka cultural club? How is the practice of kapa haka sustained by other external social processes? What characteristics define the practice of kapa haka? How can kapa haka be regarded as having efficacy? In other words, how can singing and dancing work on the corporeal world?