September 4, 2011

The Haka! “Every time that I am down & certain I won’t make it out this time, I will think of this. Thank you.”

They lost their best friend and brother to suicide and this is the haka done at his tangi. This shows the pain of those left behind from suicide.

 Many would claim inviting Westerners to join is cultural appropriation, but those who practice the Haka would disagree.

The key part is this:

giving that it is performed with all the seriousness and respect that is deserves and that the performers are aware of what they are doing and what it means.

I don’t claim to be the most well-travelled person, but having visited NZ, numerous Asian countries, and others, my exposure to their cultures has generally suggested to me that for the most part locals and natives are often willing to share and encourage others to take part in their culture, as long as this participation is with respect and reverence.

Many are proud of their culture, and are willing to share that pride with others, and such cultural exchange should be met with an equal, if not greater, level of respect and understanding.

The failure of the “terrible, ignorant tourist”, then, is an inability to self-reflect and give deference to the fact that they are a guest.

 Don’t hide your pain or emotions. Honor them. Let them out, but with heart and mindfulness.

A dance welcoming life and death and the enemy…to reawaken the sun. Haka!

Ka mate Ka mate
It is death It is death

Ka ora Ka ora
It is life It is life
Ka mate Ka mate
It is death It is death

Ka ora Ka ora
It is life It is life

Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru
This is the hairy man

Nana i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra
Who caused the sun to shine again for me

Upane Upane
Up the ladder Up the ladder

Upane Kaupane
Up to the top

Whiti te ra
The sun shines!

Awesome. Yes, literally. Like a shot in the arm of consumption and complacency, the warrior’s cry:

I was lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. We were on our way home when something odd was happening. This group was doing a Flash Mob – like Haka at Sylvia Par

Via Reddit:

For the uninitiated and/or Americans among us…

This is a Haka, a posture dance performed most famously by the Maori tribes in New Zealand. It’s a traditional thing dating back many years, but is most recognised as the ‘shouting thing the All Blacks (New Zealand rugby team) do before every game’.

This is actually just one kind of Haka (Ka Mate) – there are a variety of different ones, some just for men, some for women, some for both, some for children – and they’re performed for a variety of different reasons. The Peruperu (war Haka) was used to intimidate their opponents before battle by showing their strength and physical prowess to their enemies. Some Hakas are just for entertainment, or used to welcome important or revered guests.

I’ve always found that the interesting thing to watch during a war Haka like this is not so much the movements of the arms and legs, but the facial contortions – men waggle their tongues and open their eyes really wide, and pull crazy faces. All part of the intimidation thing.

Never seen a flash mob Haka before. Awesome.

Source: New Zealand girlfriend, and lifelong love of rugby.


Without a traditional response, the opposing team must feel a bit scared:

A few more, if you (like I) can’t get enough. If you’re a Shambhala Buddhist practitioner, the “lyrics” of the chant might just sound a bit familiar:

Sans rugby!

More info and links via Reddit:

“The Haka is iconic throughout the world. If you are interested in rugby, then you probably know that the All Blacks perform a haka at the start of each of the rugby games. But, did you know why they do it? There are multiple reasons; and it comes back to the fact that the haka is important to the indigenous people of New Zealand; the Māori. It is an important, iconic part of their history and traditions. Today we are going to continue our blog series on Māori culture my looking at the meaning and significance of the haka.

The haka started as a war dance

The first hakas were created and performed by different Māori tribes as a war dance. It is an ancestral war cry. It was performed on the battlefields for two reasons. Firstly, it was done to scare their opponents; the warriors would use aggressive facial expressions such as bulging eyes and poking of their tounges. They would grunt and cry in an intimidating way, while beating and waving their weapons. The second reason they did this was for their own morale; they believed that they were calling upon the god of war to help them win the battle. They were heavily choreographed and performed in time. It gave them courage and strength. This type of haka is called a peruperu haka.

Overtime, it took on new meanings

Overtime, the haka evolved and it came to be used for more than just battles. It became a way for communities to come together and it was a symbol for community and strength. This type of haka is called a ngeri haka. Unlike the peruperu, the ngeri does not use weapons. Their purpose is different; they are performed to simply move the performs and viewers physcologically, rather than to cause fear. This different goal is reflected in the way that they are performed. Their movements are more free, giving each participant the freedom to express themselves in their own movements. Both males and females can perform a haka; there are special ones that have been created just for women.

In New Zealand, you will find that the haka is performed for a lot of different reasons. Nationally, it is used at important events; an example of this is rugby games where it is performed at the start of each match. It is also performed for personal reasons too. It is performed at weddings, funerals, local events and more. It is also performed for special guests as a sign of respect. It is not exclusive to Māori; anyone is welcome to perform a haka, giving that it is performed with all the seriousness and respect that is deserves and that the performers are aware of what they are doing and what it means.” – Source

Here’s some great examples

Haka at a wedding

3 Hakas for Jonah Lomu at his funeral (one of the greatest NZ rugby players of all time, died at 40)

Haka for a beloved teacher who passed, performed by the whole school

Edit 1:

Here’s a beautiful documentary short on the haka and a bit of history – thanks to u/BruceisLoose for the link

And a link to the subject of that doc, Inia Maxwell, the haka teacher for the All Blacks (the NZ national rugby union team) – thanks to u/Ayatollah_Bahloni for the link


This one is always fun to watch, the guy really does have a phenomenal energy behind him.

For those struggling with everyday depression or burnout:

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