With 13 million views last viral video with the hashtag #proudPolynesian is the one with the Haka during the wedding reception of young Aaliyah and Benjamin Armstrong shared by the facebook page “I’m Proud to Be Tongan”.

Many know or associate the Haka to the All Blacks rugby union team but these athletes have only made famous a tradition.

According to Maori mythology Haka comes from the son of the god Ra. Ra had two wives, Hine Raumati-that is the essence of summer and Hine-Takurua that embodies the winter. Love of Ra and Hine Raumati-born son called Taneore. On sunny days, the high summer, you can see on the horizon the light shake, dance. The legend has it that the flicker called in the Maori language “wiriwiri” is just Taneore dancing for her mother-Hine Raumati. That glint of light is now represented by the vibration of the hands of the dancers.

The first use of the haka is female. Legend has it that it was danced for the first time by the women of the tribal chief Tinirau. Tinirau was seeking revenge for the killing of her whale and sent a group of women to find the manager, an old priest “tohunga” called Kae. Although no one had ever met, it was known to possess a set of teeth with prominent teeth Straddle. You arrive at the village of Kae, women improvised a dance (just a haka) to bring a smile to the people and discover the identity of the religious that was found, imprisoned and killed once reported the presence of Tinirau.

Originally from the indigenous Maori people of New Zealand the Haka is superficially associated with war but it actually is a dance used not only to intimidate but also to welcome important guests, celebrate achievements, expressing joy and pain in total freedom of movement . Involving almost all parts of the body the Haka dance becomes a symphony in which the hands, feet and voice act as instruments.

As described by Alan Armstrong in his book Maori Games and Haka

“ The haka is a composition played by many instruments. Hands, feet, legs, body, voice, tongue, and eyes all play their part in blending together to convey in their fullness the challenge, welcome, exaltation, defiance or contempt of the words. It is disciplined, yet emotional. More than any other aspect of Maori culture, this complex dance is an expression of passion, vigor and identity of the breed. It is, at its best, a message of the soul expressed through the words and attitudes.”

Mainly performed by men with women, if present, only as an aid in the background, the Haka is called by different names depending on the styles.

Peruperu usually it performed before a battle to invoke the god of war and Involves the use of weapons

Ngeri usually it used to motivated the warriors and it was performed without weapons

Manawa Wera were associated with funerals anche without weapons

Ka Mate is the most famous one and it is a ceremonial haka, the celebration of the life over the death

As for the most popular video of the moment it seems it is popular Haka in central Hawkes Bay and it was written in early 1900 by the chief Waimarama Puhara for his son. This Haka called Tika Tonu is taught to young people as encouragement during the difficult transition from boy to man.

Leader

Everyone

Leader

Everyone

Leader

Everyone

Leader

Everyone

Ki aro

Kia whakaronga, kia mau!

Hi !

Ringaringa e torōna

kei waho hoki mai!

Kss Kss

Tika tonu!

U – e!

Tika tonu!

U… e!

Tika tonu atu ki a koe, e tama

Hiki nei koe aku whakaaro, pakia!

He hiki aha to hiki?

He hiki roa to hiki?

I a ha hā!

Pay attention

Listen up, take (your) stance!

Hi!

Arms outstretched,

out and back!

Kss Kss

What is right is always right!

In – deed!

What is right is always right!

Ah… yes!

Be true to yourself, (my) son!

My concerns have been raised about you, so pay attention!…. .

What is this problem you are carrying?

How long have you been carrying it for?

(Have you got that? Right, let’s go on.)

E tama, te uaua ana

E tama, te mārō

Roa ina hoki ra

Te tohe o te uaua na

E tāu nei.

Āna! Āna! Āna! Aue… Hī!

(So) son, (although it may be) difficult (for you )

(and) son, (although it seems to be) unyielding

(no matter how) long (you) reflect on it

the answer to the problem

is here inside you.

Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! Yes, indeed!

Knowing all this it shouldn’t be surprising that the bride was moved to tears and the groom couldn’t help but join the dance, it must have been such an intense moment and such a great gift coming from their friends and relatives. Probably for many of you it will still be a string of shouts and jumps, but our hopes is to helped you understand it a little bit more.

Personally I was moved to see the video the first time and now I find it even more intense (if possible).

TENA KOUTOU!

(I apology with all our Maori descendent reader for every possible mistake but we would appreciate every correction! We’re here to learn and to inform!)

 

Linda

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