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Encyclopedia > Haka
The haka is a traditional genre of Māori dance. This depiction of a haka as a war dance dates from ca. 1845.

A haka is a traditional dance form of the Māori of New Zealand. It is a posture dance with shouted accompaniment, performed by a group.[1] Haka can refer to: Haka, the Maori dance. ... Image File history File links MaoriWardanceKahuroa. ... Image File history File links MaoriWardanceKahuroa. ... This article is about the Māori people of New Zealand. ... For other uses, see Dance (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Scope

Although the use of a haka by the All Blacks has made one type of haka familiar, it has led to misconceptions. Haka[2] are not exclusively war dances, nor are they only performed by men. Some are performed by women, others by mixed groups, and some simple haka are performed by children. Haka are performed for various reasons: for amusement, as a hearty welcome to distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements or occasions (McLean 1996:46-47). Various actions are employed in the course of a performance, including facial contortions such as showing the whites of the eyes and the poking out of the tongue, and a wide variety of vigorous body actions such as slapping the hands against the body and stamping of the feet. As well as chanted words, a variety of cries and grunts are used. Haka may be understood as a kind of symphony in which the different parts of the body represent many instruments. The hands, arms, legs, feet, voice, eyes, tongue and the body as a whole combine to express courage, annoyance, joy or other feelings relevant to the purpose of the occasion. The All Blacks, the international rugby union team of New Zealand, perform a haka (Māori traditional dance) immediately prior to international matches,[1] Over the years they have most commonly performed the haka Ka Mate. In the early decades of international rugby, they sometimes performed other haka,[2] some... Chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, often primarily on one or two pitches called reciting tones. ...


Haka are sometimes popularly thought of solely as war dances, but individual haka have different purposes, not all related to war. War haka, which had their own term, 'peruperu' were originally performed by warriors before a battle, proclaiming their strength and prowess in order to intimidate the opposition. Today, haka constitute an integral part of formal or official welcome ceremonies for distinguished visitors or foreign dignitaries, serving to impart a sense of the importance of the occasion.


Haka and gender

Many haka are performed exclusively by men which has sometimes led to the misconception that only men may perform haka. However there are a minority of haka which are performed predominantly by women, one of the most well-known women's haka being "Ka Panapana". In many haka though, the female role, if any, is limited to providing support by singing in the background.


Women were strongly involved in the traditional origin of haka. According to Māori mythology, the sun god, Tama-nui-te-rā, had two wives, the Summer maid, Hine-raumati, and the Winter maid, Hine-takurua. The child of Tama-nui-te-ra and Hine-raumati, Tāne-rore is credited with the origin of the dance. Six major Māori departmental gods represented by wooden godsticks: left to right, TÅ«matauenga, Tāwhirimātea, Tāne, Tangaroa, Rongo, and Haumia Māori mythology and Māori traditions are the two major categories into which the legends of the Māori of New Zealand may usefully be... In Māori mythology, Tama-nui-te-rā is the personification of the sun. ...


Types of haka

Another 19th century depiction of a haka

The various types of haka include whakatu waewae, tutu ngarahu and peruperu. The peruperu is characterised by leaps during which the legs are pressed under the body. In former times, the peruperu was performed before a battle in order to invoke the god of war and to discourage and frighten the enemy. It involved fierce facial expressions and grimaces, poking out of the tongue, eye bulging, grunts and cries, and the waving of weapons. If the haka was not performed in total unison, this was regarded as a bad omen for the battle. Often, warriors went naked into battle, apart from a plaited flax belt around the waist. The aim of the warriors was to kill all the members of the enemy war party, so that no survivors would remain to undertake revenge. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 490 pixel Image in higher resolution (1027 × 629 pixel, file size: 579 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Haka Metadata This... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 490 pixel Image in higher resolution (1027 × 629 pixel, file size: 579 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Haka Metadata This... Generally, a battle is an instance of combat in warfare between two or more parties wherein each group will seek to defeat the others. ...


The tutu ngarahu also involves jumping, but from side to side, while in the whakatu waewae no jumping occurs. Another kind of haka performed without weapons is the ngeri, the purpose of which was to motivate the warriors psychologically. The movements are very free, and each performer is expected to be expressive of their feelings. Manawa wera haka were generally associated with funerals or other occasions involving death. Like the ngeri they were performed without weapons, and there was little or no choreographed movement.


The most well-known haka is "Ka Mate", attributed to Te Rauparaha, war leader of the Ngāti Toa tribe. The Ka Mate haka is classified as a "Haka Taparahi" - a ceremonial haka. The "Ka Mate" haka is about the cunning ruse Te Rauparaha used to outwit his enemies, and may be interpreted as 'a celebration of the triumph of life over death' (Pōmare 2006). Te Rauparaha, Ngāti Toa chief, 1840s This article is about a haka in its traditional context. ... Te Rauparaha (1760s?-1849) was a Maori Chief and War Leader of the Ngati Toa tribe who took a leading part in the Musket Wars. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


See also

The All Blacks, the international rugby union team of New Zealand, perform a haka (Māori traditional dance) immediately prior to international matches,[1] Over the years they have most commonly performed the haka Ka Mate. In the early decades of international rugby, they sometimes performed other haka,[2] some... The haka is a traditional Māori dance form. ... A Kapa haka is a group gathered to practise and perform the songs and dances of the Māori people of New Zealand. ... The Kailao is a Tongan war dance imported to Tonga from nearby Uvea, also known as Wallis Island. ... The Māori are the native peoples of New Zealand. ... The Manu Siva Tau is a Samoan war dance, performed by the Samoas sporting teams before each match. ... The origins of the cibi date back to the countrys warring times with their Pacific neighbours. ... Hula kahiko performance in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hula is often performed as a form of prayer at official state functions in Hawaii. ...

Notes

  1. ^ The group of people performing a haka is referred to as a kapa haka (kapa meaning row or rank). The Māori word haka has cognates in other Polynesian languages, for example: Tongan haka, 'hand action while singing'; Samoan saʻa, Tokelau haka, Rarotongan ʻaka, Hawaiian haʻa, Marquesan haka, all meaning 'dance'; Mangarevan ʻaka, 'to dance in traditional fashion; dance accompanied by chant, usually of a warlike nature'. In some languages, the meaning is divergent, for example in Tikopia saka means to 'perform rites in traditional ritual system'. The form reconstructed for Proto-Polynesian is *saka, deriving ultimately from Proto-Oceanic *saŋka(g).
  2. ^ Haka is also the plural form

The Polynesian languages are a group of related languages spoken in the region known as Polynesia. ...

References

  • McLean, Mervyn, 1996. Maori music. Auckland: Auckland University Press.

External links

  • Haka - A New Zealand icon

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