Yesterday, I cried. I’m one of those secondary criers, if I see someone cry, I’ll cry, right?
Well, I’ve always been intrigued with haka. Ever since I saw the boys of Kelston’s Boy’s High School perform this massive haka for the unveiling of a Maori statue (carving) on their campus, I can’t get enough of them.
To those unfamiliar with a haka, the haka (plural is the same as singular: haka) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance, or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It is a posture dance performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet with rhythmically shouted accompaniment.
It LOOKS cool, it’s one of those things that LOOK cool. But its not JUST cool, it’s something ebedded deeply in the Maori culture.
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. Haka originated in the coming of Hine-raumati, whose presence on still, hot days was revealed in a quivering appearance in the air. This was the haka of Tāne-rore, the son of Hine-raumati and Tama-nui-te-rā.
So it’s not something you can just do. There is a history to it, one so deep it culls emotions out of people. Haka are performed for games, to honor someone, and during funerals.
Here is one to honor Jonah Lomu, a rugby player from New Zealand, who passed in November 2015 at the age of 40. Fans and former players line up to honor him with a haka.
Jonah Lomu former team the “All Blacks”, performs one here, as a response to Tongan Sipi Tau’s wardance.
But here is the one that had me in shambles. The Armstrongs were brought to tears as their wedding party and guest perform a haka in honor of their wedding. This one has gone viral in both New Zealand and all around the world. The emotions are running so high, that the bride breaks down before it is halfway done and by the end, they are BOTH performing the haka with everyone else.