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The Maori Haka

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Scott Nagata

Kia Ora. The Maori of Aotearoa... Land of the Long White Cloud, have a rich cultural tradition reaching back to ancient origins.

An excellent source of information on the Maori haka can be found at the Tourism New Zealand website. An indepth look at the origins and history of not only the haka, but of the cultural importance of the traditions associated with the haka that have been handed down from generation to generation.

The most recognized haka is Kamate. Practically every Maori warrior learns this classic. It's simplicity makes it the ideal haka to teach. It's power, or mana, can be felt not only by the performers, but also those who observe and take in the experience. Writing about it, or even taking pictures and video just doesn't do it justice. No weapons are needed as the body and intimidating stances and gestures make for a most formidable weapon itself.

A Ka Mate! Ka mate!
'Tis death! 'Tis death!

Ka ora! Ka ora!

'Tis life! 'Tis life!

Ka mate! Ka mate!
'Tis death! 'Tis death!

Ka ora! Ka ora!
'Tis life! 'Tis life!

Tenei te tangata pohuruhuru
Behold! There stands the hairy man
Nana nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te ra!
Who will cause the sun to shine!

A hupane! A kaupane!
One step upwards, another step upwards!
A hupane! A kaupane!
One step upwards, another step upwards!
Whiti te ra!
The sun shines!

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