Haka: New Zealand’s Dance of War

2018-03-03T13:09:14+00:00Dance, History, Music, Sports, Travel|
New Zealand’s Haka is a traditional dance of power and intimidation.

A Haka, at heart, is a dance of war. It is a battle cry that combines strong, strategic posturing, stomping, and loud chanting; and when done well, it is remarkably beautiful.

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The type of dance considered to be Haka, which you probably won’t see on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, is not just a dance to show strength and ability, it is a dance of unification. The dances are meant unite those going into battle, not unlike similar rituals that athletes perform just before a competition or a sports team chants just before a game.

In fact, the New Zealand Rugby team is known for their game-starting Hakas:

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Created by New Zealand’s Māori culture as an act of intimidation, the dance is no longer just a dance of battle, Haka is also used as a dance of welcome and a dance of respect.

New Zealand’s All Blacks, the national rugby team, perform a haka to welcome Beyoncé before she performed:
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In a ceremony to honor their respected teacher, who had recently died, the entire student body of a New Zealand school performed a traditional Haka:

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A Haka isn’t a specific dance but rather a type of dance that encompasses many categories and meanings. Certain types of Hakas are meant to frighten enemies while others are meant to celebrate life. A Haka is a dance of intimidation, a dance of celebration, and a dance of respect. It is a dance of great power and meaning. It is a dance that you should know about.

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