May 19, 2018

Haka: The Maori Dance of Posturing and Muscle

Haka means "dance" in the Maori language, and kapa haka a line dance, performed at all types of public events.

We are most familiar with the war haka, the traditional dance performed before a battle, in which you try to intimidate your enemy by posturing, yelling, stamping your feet, gesturing,  making wild faces.











Today it is performed across New Zealand, by people of all racial groups, typically before a sports contest.  This group is from Hamilton Boys' High School.












Rotorua Boys' High School.













.St. Brigid's School in Dunedin has boy and girls performing.








The New Zealand National Rugby Team, the All-Blacks (a reference to the color of the uniforms, not the race of the players), perform a haka before each game, using a routine borrowed from the Ngati-Toa tribe.












The publicity has made haka popular beyond New Zealand.  Here it is at the Churchill School in Zimbabwe.




And at Eastern Oregon University.










But be careful: you can't do the All-Blacks' routine without permission from the Ngati-Toa Tribe.  The University of Hawaii's legal department made the football team come up with original haka moves.


1 comment:

  1. One Eve Online clan took an old gay naked dancing video and said it was their haka. No, I'm not linking to it here; maybe at TOWH, but not here.

    Actually, now that I think about it, this reminds me of a story I heard, that getting an erection was part of the point of Maori war dances, just adding to the threat. (If you've seen the New Zealand short "Twilight of the Gods", the part where the Maori says "The God of War speaks through this instrument." And yes, buddy-bonding, tragic gay romance, etc. Still not sure why the title references Wagner when the Ring Cycle is like twelve hours long and this is only a few minutes, no one sings, and the cast is all-male, not a fat lady in sight.)

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