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Transcript of Maori Haka
What is it?
The Maori Haka is a tribal form of dance that has agressive banging of the chest, thighs, and big expressions on their faces. Accompanied with the combination of rhythmic verbalization and strict posture, this was considered a viable threat mechanism.
The Maori Haka originated from New Zealand! New Zealand is known for it's beautiful landscapes with rolling hills and towering mountains. Best described as the perfect beach wedding scene, the waters surrounding the island country seem to have jumped right out of a famous painting. No wonder the movie industry can't get enough! King Kong, Hobbit, and Narnia can all attest to that.
The clothing that was used in this particular dance was typically light and airy and had long "tassles". They were usually made of long dried pieces of grass while other fabric was hand woven by the people of the tribe. This allowed for fluidity in their vigorous movements, balancing the sharp accents of each war cry with a dynamic flow.
Other Tribal Dances
Mandi S, Alaina M. Denae C.
Malakas at Maganda, Kadel Blelah and Binaylan are only a couple of the many tribal dances of the world, but there is yet any to be found closely relating to Haka Maori's intense warrior esque disposition. Known as one of a kind, these dances can vary from illustrating thrilling mythological tales to history of the tribe's origin and creation.
New Zealanders have grown accustomed to the use of the Haka by sporting teams.
The modern All Blacks perform the Haka with passion and pride. They have reclaimed the dignity and mystique attached to this traditional art form and in the process, increased its recognition as an icon of New Zealand.
The New Zealand Army also has its own unique haka, opened and ended by female soldiers, acknowledging their special place in the armed forces.
The Haka is also used during weddings, and birthdays.
The haka was traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace.
Haka are a fierce display of a tribe's pride, strength and unity.
The first use of the haka (dance, or song accompanied by a dance) in the natural world was attributed to the Chief Tinirau and some of his warriors. Tinirau desired revenge for the killing of a pet whale, so he sent a hunting party of women to find the man responsible; an old tohunga (or priest) named Kae. The women didn’t know what he looked like, but they knew he had uneven teeth that overlapped. When the women arrived at Kae’s village, they performed the haka to force a smile from the men in order to uncover Kae’s identity. Kae was captured, and taken back to Tinirau’s village where he was killed.
Did you know that New Zealand only gets snow fall on the northern side?
This traditional permanent body and face marking is carved in the skin by Maori to assert respect over an individual. These elegant patterns showacse talent, skill, honour, and status. Just like their dance, this sacred practice is used as an instrument of expression, each line characterizing the individual's personal 'style' and spirit. Recently a cultural revival has sparked regarding Ta Moko, used as a sign of identity.
Commemorated on April 25, this national occasion represents the first major military action taken by Australia and New Zealand in the first World War. This year's crowds witnessed a mesmerizing performance of Haka by over two hundred citizens, led by organizations such as Haka for Life and When Men Speak; dedicated to mental health and appreciation for the veterans that fought fearlessly with their lives.
Hosted in a different city every two years, this festival prides itself in the passion, ferocity, and sheer dedication the Maori performers bring to compete for the supreme title of Toa Whakaihuwaka. This national stage has an open door policy, drawing in thousands of people to witness the timeless tradition of Kapa Haka (much like a Maori line dance used to showcase heritage). Established in 1972, the Te Matini Society is the driving force behind most Polynesian cultural events, nurturing Maori performing arts.
Haka: War Dance
Waiata-ā-ringa: (Action songs) Performers symbolize lyrics dependent on quick fluttering hand movements, commonly referred to as wiri. Can represent many elements, such as water ripples, heat waves, or slight breezes.
Poi: (Ball on a string) In this form, skillful navigations of single/multiple poi creates a percussive sound when hit against a part of the body. Mostly performed by women for it signifies grace, beauty, and charm, Much like Kathak.
Pūkana: Relies on a performers ability to demonstrate intense emotion with their expressions, women commonly jut their chins out and widen their eyes; men would similarly open their eyes but instead stick their tongues out.
Marae: Meeting grounds known as the focal point in a community where special events are held. These complexes each have a delicately carved meeting house; wharenui.
Powhiri: A welcoming ceremony for vistors. Begins with a challenge, then a karanga (call of welcome), followed by speeches and food.
MAUI!!! According to legend, this well known demi god pulled up North Island on a fishing trip! Mount Hikurangi has Maui carvings.
Hinemoa and Tūtānekai: New Zealand's very own Romeo and Juliet.
Paikea: travels on the back of the whale (Tohora). Connection between nature and humans. Potentail reached when nature is respected not exploited. Whale rider book and movie.